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Arizona schools chief, attorney general races still undecided


By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
PHOENIX -- The latest batch of ballots counted Tuesday in Arizona have still left the last two statewide races undecided.
Tom Horne, the Republican candidate for state schools chief, padded his lead over Democratic incumbent Kathy Hoffman. A total of 8,576 votes now separate them, with Horne now having 50.2% of those tallied.
That lead could prove insurmountable by Hoffman given that only about 28,000 votes are left to be counted statewide. That includes about 12,000 in Maricopa County, more than 5,400 in Pima County, 4,500 in Apache County and 1,400 in Pinal County. There are smaller numbers in several other counties.
But the race for attorney general clearly could go either way.
Republican Abe Hamadeh added another 11,678 votes from his Monday total. But the new reports also include 9,362 votes for Democrat Kris Mayes, cutting here lead to just 771 votes and essentially leaving the race a 50-50 tie.
So far nearly 2.57 million votes have been counted.
Arizona law requires an automatic recount if the final difference between the candidates ends up less than one-half of one percent of the total votes cast in that race.
About a third of the uncounted votes appear to be ballots waiting to be "cured.'' These are cases where the signature on the envelope for the early ballot does not match what county election officials already have on file.
But time is running out: State law gives those people only through 5 p.m. Wednesday to fix the problem, something that can be done even with a phone call to verify identity.
There also are about 6,100 of provisional ballots, normally given to people who show up at vote centers without the necessary identification. That can be fixed only by the voter bringing the documentation to any election office or city or county clerk before Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline.
On Twitter: @azcapmedia