Election officials tell us that at least
116,000 119,000 ballots remain uncounted in Arizona.
That's more than enough to flip the close race for state Attorney General again - maybe even a couple more times. The nail-biter of a Republican primary had Andrew Thomas in the lead for most of the night, but Tom Horne managed to squeak by. Horne retained the lead this morning by just 373 votes.
However, Thomas' campaign consultant, Jason Rose, says the trend is leaning toward Horne.
The bulk of the 116,000-plus uncounted votes are what you might call late early ballots. These are the early ballots that were dropped off at voting precincts yesterday past 6 or 7 p.m., past the time when they could be counted with the other early ballots.
Those votes are spread across the state, making it impossible -- for now -- to figure out whether the uncounted ballots come from Thomas or Horne country.
More than 82,000 of the 119,000 are from Maricopa County. Something to consider: Thomas pulled in more votes than Horne in yesterday's count of on-time early ballots. He lost the lead later in the evening as voting precincts totals came in.
Votes in five precincts in the county haven't been counted at all due to power outages, says Yvonne Reed, spokeswoman for county elections. Those included three precincts run out of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, near Broadway and Gilbert roads in Mesa, one precinct at the Academy with Community Partners, near University Drive and Gilbert Road in Mesa, and a precinct at Westwood Elementary School, near 23rd Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix.
Two precincts in Pima County were also not counted, says Matt Benson of the Arizona Secretary of State's office.
The officials are also waiting on thousands of provisional ballots still being collected. Most of the provisional ballots were issued to voters at precincts who did not have the proper identification required by law.
In Maricopa County, Reed says, the provisionals are placed in a "secured area" and counted after voters come in to show their ID. Those voters have until 5 o'clock on Friday to validate their votes, Reed says.
The number of provisional votes left to be counted in Maricopa County -- or Coconino County -- isn't yet known.
Benson estimates that "a hair under" 8,000 exist in counties other than Maricopa, and that the number of provisionals in Maricopa will be significant. However, it's unclear how many of those votes will ultimately be validated by voters.
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