Arizona GOP Suing To Limit Use Of Mail-In Ballots In Senate Race

U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., left, and U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz.Screengrab/Fox News/YouTube

Republicans seek to exclude all mail-in ballots with signatures that were not verified until after the polls closed.

Arizona Republicans have filed a lawsuit challenging the method some counties use to tally mail-in votes — a time-intensive process for counting the more than 600,000 ballots that will likely take days to complete.

If they are successful, it is unclear how many ballots might be excluded from the vote total.

Via NBC News:

> Republican Rep. Martha McSally and Democratic Rep. Kyrstin Sinema were separated by a small fraction of the 1.7 million tabulated votes.

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> About 75 percent of Arizona voters cast ballots by mail, but those ballots have to go through the laborious signature confirmation process, and only then can be opened and tabulated. If county recorders have issues verifying signatures they are allowed to ask voters to verify their identity.

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> The suit filed Wednesday by four county Republican parties alleges that the state's 15 county recorders don't follow a uniform standard for allowing voters to adjust problems with their mail-in ballots, and that two counties improperly allow those fixes after Election Day.

Republicans threatened to sue over the issue prior to Tuesday’s vote, but Democrats cast the move as an attempt at voter suppression, noting that the same process has been followed for years with no problems.

In the lawsuit, Republicans say signature verification must end when the polls close, NBC reported, and they are seeking an injunction to exclude ballots verified after that time.

> It's unclear how many of these votes still remain outstanding, but the suit singles out the state's two biggest urban counties, the center of support for Sinema. It says the two counties allow voters to help clear up signature problems up to five days after the election.

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> Democrats believe the uncounted urban ballots dropped off shortly before Election Day favors Sinema.

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> The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard Friday, after the next release late Thursday of tallied ballots.

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