Editor's Note

Democracy Debacle

Last week in this space, I wrote: "Now that the election is over (at least I hope it's over by the time you read this) ..."

Well, as we all know, my hopes were dashed. Who knew that in 2012, the state of Arizona would have such problems counting freaking ballots?

The election of 2012 has been an utter debacle. And it continues to be a debacle.

As I write this late Tuesday afternoon, the Secretary of State's Office just updated the results for the Congressional District 2 race, and now shows Rep. Ron Barber leading Martha McSally by 829 votes.

Around the same time, the office released what it says are the updated numbers of ballots left to be counted statewide: 146,843 early ballots, and 177,519 provisional ballots, for a total—a week after Election Day—of 324,362.

That's bad enough. But it gets worse.

The numbers sheet from the SOS office includes a "status updated" field. What exactly this means, I don't know, but I presume it has to do with the various counties reporting, in a timely manner, their ballot numbers. And eight counties, of 15, have "no" next to them.

That's really bad. But it gets even worse.

We have been baffled by the fact that the number of Cochise County ballots—which is important, since those ballots will help decide the Barber-McSally race—has not decreased all that much within the last day or two. Well, we're now hearing from sources that, in fact, the number of uncounted ballots in Cochise County is much smaller than the numbers (6,795 early; 2,326 provisional) reported by the Secretary of State. Even though the Secretary of State has "yes" next to Cochise County in the "status updated" field.


Keep following The Range, our daily dispatch, at daily.tucsonweekly.com, as we continue to sort out this mess.

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