Maricopa County's long march toward a final vote count slogs on, with county Recorder Helen Purcell announcing late Tuesday afternoon that 47,351 early ballots had been tabulated.
Purcell's statement noted that "approximately 46,000 early ballots still remain to be processed for tabulation."
The provisional vote count is still at 122,000.
Before the county released its latest numbers, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett's office issued a press release stating that "an estimated 324,362 early and provisional ballots" remain statewide.
But that statement did not include the county's Tuesday update. If you subtract what the county processed today from the SOS numbers, it comes to a total of 277,011 earlies and provisionals remaining.
MCSALLY 137,339 49.79 BARBER 137,993 50.03
The only race left to watch closely is the Ron Barber-Martha McSally contest in the Second Congressional District. Barber, a Dem, leads GOPer McSally by 654 votes, a scant 0.24 percent, as of Tuesday evening, according to the SOS website.
(Note: The vote count is updated throughout the day, and may vary from what you see by the time you read this post.)
The Barber and McSally camps have been in court recdently, duking it out over 130 provisionals from Cochise County.
The Associated Press recently reported that both sides have come to an agreement on how the ballots are to be processed.
Those true believers holding hope against hope that either Democratic sheriff's candidate Paul Penzone or Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rich Carmona can reverse their fortunes will be further disappointed by Tuesday's tally.
The spread is essentially unchanged in both races.
ARPAIO 616,622 51.29 PENZONE 531,438 44.2 STAUFFER 54,157 4.5
CARMONA 942,426 45.76 FLAKE, 1,023,493 49.69
Carmona seems stuck behind Flake at about the same amount as Monday, 81,067 votes, or 3.93 percent, according to the SOS website.
More votes are being tabulated, obviously, but the gap is almost unchanged. And with each passing day, it becomes less and less likely that somehow this trend could be reversed by a water-into-wine-type miracle.
Unfortunately, I gave up belief in Jesus Christ and Santa Clause several decades ago.
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The county recorder's office is currently taking it on the chin as workers there toil long hours attempting to get all ballots counted as soon as possible.
There's a lot of misinformation and confusion, both locally and nationally, about Arizona's vote count which I will address in an upcoming post.