Monday, November 10, 2014

Judge Denies Team McSally's Motion, Allows Vote Count To Continue in Hotly Contested Barber-McSally Race

Posted By on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 12:58 PM

A Pima County Superior Court judge has denied an effort by Republican Martha McSally’s congressional campaign to stop counting a group of ballots in Democratic precincts in her hotly contested race against Democratic incumbent Ron Barber.

Superior Court Judge James Marner said that he would not issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to stop the count of provisional ballots that were missing a signature from a poll worker.

The race remains extremely tight, with McSally leading Barber by 341 votes.

County officials say there are an estimated 9,300 provisional ballot awaiting tabulation in Pima County, where Barber ran ahead of McSally. An unknown number are in Congressional District 2.

Pima County Election Director Brad Nelson said ballot counting would resume this afternoon but he did not expect the complete the count of the provisional ballots.

Lawyers for both campaigns, as well as a deputy county attorney, were in court this morning to debate whether the questioned ballots should be set aside until a substantive argument could be made as to whether they are valid.

Attorney Dan Barr, representing the Barber campaign, said that the voters’ ballots shouldn’t be tossed aside based on a technical error.

Barr said the question was whether the court should “toss aside a voter’s ballot when they didn’t do anything wrong. They did everything they were supposed to do … and because of some technical error, we’re not going to count their vote.”

Deputy County Attorney Daniel Jurkowitz said that if these sorts of challenges regarding minor technical errors were regularly entertained, then elections would never be resolved.

“There’s no such thing as a perfect election,” Jurkowitz said.

Attorney Brett W. Johnson, representing the McSally campaign, said that an elections manual distributed by the Arizona Secretary of State’s office did include a provision that stated that administrative errors are grounds for disqualifying ballots.

But other sections of the manual conflicted with that rule and Secretary of State Ken Bennett testified that that were other safeguards to ensure election integrity beyond the signatures on the forms.

Marner said the election manual was “a bit of a head scratcher” but expressed his judgment that the McSally legal team was not likely to prevail on the merits of its case, so he would not grant their request to stop the counting of the questioned ballots.

The underlying question as to the validity of the ballots remains unresolved.

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

Previously in the Range

More by Jim Nintzel

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Burlesque Fitness

Burlesque Fitness @ Floor Polish

Mondays, Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Cool Summer Nights

Beat Arizona heat and enjoy a family-friendly outing during the Desert Museum’s Cool Summer Nights. The stunning… More

@ Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Saturdays, 5-10 p.m. Continues through Sept. 2 2021 N. Kinney Road.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. The Weekly List: 13 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. 'Repeal and Replace' Cuts Schools' Medicaid Funding (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. In The Flesh: Casey Golden, Daycones and Fawn Bones Soothe and Rock the Smoking Area (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Tour Diaries: XIXA Day 8: 'Gabe Heard and Saw Me Reset My Knee From Across the Room.' (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation