In a strange turn of events in the race between incumbent Democrat Congressman Ron Barber and Republican challenger Martha McSally in Arizona, election officials have been busy counting new ballots which suddenly appeared this week.
McSally, who served as the first female combat fighter pilot in the United States, is now fighting for a congressional seat that, by last count, she seems to have won; unless gamesmanship at the Pima County Elections Department reverses her lead.
The Pima County Elections Department in Arizona claims to have found 213 general election ballots in what could be the nation's tightest congressional race.
Tucson News Now reports that more than 200 early voting ballots were "placed in the wrong envelope" by voters and were therefore never counted by elections officials. The elections department returned those ballots to the Registrar of Voters to be counted late Wednesday night.
Republican Martha McSally has maintained a lead by a narrow 166 votes - but it is just 34 votes shy of avoiding a mandatory constitutional recount.
Since Election Day more than week ago, election results in Arizona have gone back and forth like a veritable see-saw.
This is no way to run our country's elections.
The discovery of new ballots is just the latest in the string of shenanigans in the key Arizona congressional race, which would place American fighter pilot McSally in the incoming freshman class of the 114th Congress.
Democrat incumbent Barber's team now says they will demand to have 782 provisional ballots counted that have already been declared invalid. Those ballots are from Democrat-leaning districts.
The stakes of the election are high, as a victory for McSally would be another "first" for the GOP, as she would join Mia Love, the first black Republican congresswoman; West Virginia republican Saira Blair, the youngest State Legislator in the country at 18 years old; Tim Scott a republican from South Carolina who just became the first African American to serve in both houses of Congress; among others.
To contact the Pima County Elections Department to place a complaint or to encourage them to conduct the recount with the utmost integrity, call: (520) 724-6830.
Jennifer Kerns has served as an Assistant Secretary of State in California, where she and a team were tasked with ensuring voting integrity.
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