McSally-Sinema Senate Race to Take ‘Days’ to Decide as Other Key Midterms Too Close to Call

By Zachary Stieber

The Senate race in Arizona is too close to call, along with other key midterms in several key states.

With 99 percent of the votes counted, Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) had a slight lead of 49.3 percent, or 850,053 votes, to 48.4 percent, or 834,135 votes, for Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), according to The Associated Press.

But the remaining votes will take days to count, election officials said.

The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office said it was going to process data from polling locations through early Wednesday before turning to the “late early ballots,” which includes those dropped off at polling places on Election Day.

“That’s going to take days,” spokeswoman Murphy Hebert told the Arizona Republic. The office will not update results on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The updates will start at 5 p.m. on Nov. 8 and continue every day at 5 p.m. until the office finishes counting ballots.

Eric Spencer, the state elections director, said that attorneys for the parties will likely swarm the offices of county recorders on Wednesday and the close race may lead to lawsuits.

“There are going to be very sophisticated operations of monitoring and reporting that stuff back to the parties,” he said. “And it’s inevitable there will be some sort of lawsuit filed during the process.”

A recount is unlikely but is required if the final results of the official canvass, which is scheduled for Dec. 3, shows that the difference in the total cast for McSally and Sinema is less than or equal to the less amount of one-tenth of 1 percent, or 200 votes.

martha mcsally in debate
Rep. Martha McSally, (R-Ariz.) at a debate in Phoenix, Ariz., on Oct. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt York)
 Kyrsten Sinema in debate
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), goes over the rules in a television studio prior to a televised debate with Rep. Martha McSally, (R-Ariz.), Oct. 15, 2018, in Phoenix. (Matt York/AP Photo)

Montana Senate

Another Senate race, this time in Montana, is also too close to call as of Wednesday morning.

Incumbent Democrat Jon Tester, who was slammed by President Donald Trump for his treatment of a Cabinet nominee, was challenged by Republican Matt Rosendale, the state’s auditor.

With 83 percent of the votes counted as of 8:30 a.m. EST, Rosendale had 48.9 percent, or 202,793 against Tester’s 48.2 percent, or 199,800, according to The Associated Press.

According to the Helena Independent Record, final results were expected sometime on Wednesday.

matt rosendale with trump
Republican Senate candidate for Montana Matt Rosendale at President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again rally in Billings, Mont., on Sept. 6, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
Jon Tester may lose Senate seat
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) passes through the basement of the U.S. Capitol prior to a Senate Democratic Policy Luncheon in Washington on Jan.17, 2018, in Washington. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Georgia Governor

Georgia’s gubernatorial race appeared to be over but one candidate refused to concede despite 100 percent of the votes being counted, according to The Associated Press.

Republican Brian Kemp earned 1,962,547 votes, or 50.5 percent, to Democrat Stacy Abrams 48.6 percent, or 1,887,161. The race has not been called officially. The pair would meet in a Dec. 4 runoff if both finished below 50 percent.

Abrams told supporters that there are still votes to be counted and refused to concede. Her campaign told PBS that there are at least 97,000 ballots still left and that she’d need a net gain of 24,379 to trigger a runoff.

Kemp told supporters early Wednesday that it looked like he was going to win. Neither candidate has spoken since around 3 a.m.

“There are votes left to count, but we have a very strong lead,” Kemp said. “And folks, make no mistake, the math is on our side to win this election.”