Live Election Blog: Kirkpatrick Win Helps Democrats Regain Control of House, CNN Projects

Democrats celebrate Tuesday night at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Phoenix  when they learn that CNN projected that the party will regain control of the U.S. House.
Democrats celebrate Tuesday night at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Phoenix when they learn that CNN projected that the party will regain control of the U.S. House. Benjamin Leatherman
It wasn't quite a blue wave, perhaps, but maybe it was least a large ripple as Democrats apparently regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday night.

And Arizona did its part.

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick won Congressional District 2, a seat that was held by Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally.  That now gives Democrats a 5-4 lead in the Arizona congressional delegation as the Associated Press declared Democratic incumbent Tom O'Halleran the winner in Congressional District One.  Wednesday morning, according to the Secretary of State's website, O'Halleran had 111,854 votes, 53 percent, to Republican Wendy Rogers' 97,929 votes, 47 percent

The Associated Press also said incumbent Democrats Raul Grijalva (CD3) and  Ruben Gallego (unopposed in CD7) would return to Congress and Democrat Greg Stanton, the former Phoenix Mayor, won the CD9 seat

Republican incumbents Paul Gosar (CD4), Andy Biggs (CD5) and David Schweikert (CD6) were also easy winners.

In Congressional District 8, formerly held by disgraced congressman Trent Franks, Republican Debbie Lesko also had a substantial lead over Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, who Lesko defeated in a special election to replace Franks earlier this year.  At just past 11 p.m., the Associated Press declared Lesko the winner.

As of Wednesday morning, according to the New York Times, the Democrats had a 219-193 lead in House seats with a number of races still outstanding.  The Dems only needed 218 seats to take control.

Other highlights of Election Day 2018:

11:06 p.m. Katie Hobbs tweets AZSOS race is still too close to call.
Her campaign manager, Niles Harris, says Associated Press has called it too early. "We are cautiously optimistic that when all the ballots are counted, Katie Hobbs will be elected Arizona's next Secretary of State."

10:30 p.m. Republicans Yee, Brnovich look like easy winners

Former lawmaker Kimberly Yee was trouncing her Democratic opponent Mark Manoil for State Treasurer 55.5 to 45.5. with nearly 1.4 million votes counted. Yee claimed in statement released by her campaign that she is "the first female Chinese-American Republican to be elected in a major statewide race in the country's history." That couldn't be immediately confirmed, but it sounds impressive, especially considering the way Asian-Americans have turned away from the Republican Party in the past couple of decades.

"I am honored to be elected by the people of Arizona as their State Treasurer," she said. "Throughout my campaign, I have always stressed that Arizona taxpayers need honesty, integrity and transparency in their government,"

It also appears that Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich will keep his job after voters rejected his Democratic opponent, January Contreras, 53-47 with 1.4 million votes counted.

10 p.m. Olson, Glassman leading commission race

Republicans Justin Olson and Rodney Glassman are leading a close race for the two open seats for Corporation Commission in Arizona. If they win, the GOP will retain control of the five-member, quasi-judicial body.

Olson was leading with 25.93 percent of the vote. Glassman had 25.89 percent, and the closest Democrat, Sandra Kennedy, had 24.94 percent. Last in place was Democrat Kiana Sears, with 23.24 percent.

"I'm excited to be in first place," Justin Olson said at the Republican watch party on Tuesday night. "We're going to take conservative principles to the Corporation Commission."

9:30 p.m. Senate too close to call.

Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally led Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema by less than a percentage point, about 11,000 votes.  Green Party candidate Angela Green, who withdrew to support Sinema, still had received enough votes, 29,782, to make a difference

8:15 p.m.  Ducey takes commanding lead

Incumbent Governor Doug Ducey held a substantial lead over Democratic challenger David Garcia and Democrat Katie Hobbs appeared to have a massive advantage over Steve Gaynor in the Secretary of State's race, but it must have been a glitch, because Gaynor has taken a slight lead.

In the race for the U.S. Senate, Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema led Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally by less than a percentage point with more than 1 million votes counted.  (By 9 p..

Democrats were leading in five congressional races and Republicans were ahead in four with Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick leading in an effort to take Congressional District 2 blue.

7 p.m.: Polls are now closed in Arizona. If you're in line, stay in line.

6:50 p.m.: Voters are still in line at ASU Tempe 10 minutes before polls close. Voting booths have been added outside to help the line move.

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Voters at ASU Tempe are voting outside of the polling center as the line is still long with 10 minutes to spare before polls close.
Benjamin Leatherman

5 p.m.: The first batch of states have closed polls. Arizona's won't close until 7 p.m.

If you're in line by 7 p.m., you can still vote – don't leave the line.

4:14 p.m. Arizona voters turn out in droves for Election Day 2018.

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A dog spotted outside of the polling place at Arizona State University's Tempe campus on election day 2018.
Elizabeth Whitman
Click here for photo slideshow

4:06 p.m. Secretary of State's Office gives estimate for release of results.

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Maricopa County election workers will be busy for the next few days counting ballots.
Benjamin Leatherman
As in previous election years, you can expect to start seeing results from today's election shortly after 8 p.m. on the Arizona Secretary of State's Office website.

"The first batch of results will be of early ballots mailed to County Recorders prior to today," said Darron Moffatt, a spokesperson for the agency, in a prepared statement. "We expect there to be a delay between the first batch of results and the second update as the counties begin to process polling locations votes after 8 p.m."

Moffatt reminded voters in his statement that voters can get in line at a polling location up until 7 p.m.

"Any voter that is in line prior to 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote, no matter how long the line is," he said. "Any voter who shows up after 7 p.m. will be turned away."

The agency expects more than 100,000 early ballots to be dropped off at polling locations today, which the counties will begin processing on Wednesday. The county must verify signatures and the validity of each ballot before posting the updated results from those ballots, and that could take days, he added.

3:30 p.m. Arizona State University students undeterred by long line

Students at the Palo Verde West voting center at Arizona State University in Tempe were staunchly committed to voting on Tuesday despite the long queue.

Near the line, which snaked east from the polling center toward the Starbucks, music blasted from a speaker set up on the lawn.

About midway through the line, Paige Snyder, a 20-year-old sophomore, said that she had been waiting about half an hour. She had left class early to vote, and said she appreciated being able to vote on campus.

“You can’t make it any easier,” Snyder said. She estimated that she had done 15 to 30 minutes of research into candidates and propositions prior to coming to vote.

Next to her stood Indigo Harman, a 21-year-old senior.

“I am making my voice heard so that we can put our world back into better order,” Harman said. She added that she wasn’t surprised by the long lines. “I’d be doing homework right now, but I’m here ... “I kind of expected this.”

Both students were quick to point out that even though the line was long, various organizations had been handing out free snacks and voter guides. Both also said that the county had taken “a while” to send voter registration information in the mail.

Neither had met any of the Democratic candidates who were visiting that afternoon. (Scroll down to see interviews with those candidates.)

Other students said that their teachers were accommodating when it came to making sure students voted.

They wouldn’t penalize students for being late to class if they were voting, said Ashai Thomas, a 21-year-old junior studying English linguistics and Spanish. Thomas, who wants to become a teacher, said she was strongly against Proposition 305, a ballot measure to expand a controversial school voucher program. She said that she had spent her time in line chatting with friends and others waiting in line, and using her phone to research what was on the ballot.

2:59 p.m. Maricopa County Recorder says all early ballots are now in the house

1:30 p.m. See our interview with Bill Pierce, Democratic candidate for Arizona mine inspector

1:30 p.m. Election Day interview with Katie Hobbs, Democratic candidate for Secretary of State

Hobbs was among other Democratic candidates who held a rally today at Arizona State University in Tempe.

1:15 p.m. Election Day interview with Kathy Hoffman, Democratic Superintendent candidate

“I’m feeling incredibly excited and maybe a little bit nervous, but overall very excited,” said Kathy Hoffman, Democratic candidate for Arizona Superintendent of Schools.

A first-time candidate, Hoffman said that she expects to win. A recent poll showed a close contest, but the superintendent’s race is probably one of the best opportunities for Arizona Democrats to pick off a Republican-held statewide office. Incumbent Diane Douglas lost in her primary election in August.

Hoffman, a 32-year-old speech therapist, said that voters are looking for a superintendent who will support a high-quality public education system. And she disapproves of the way her Republican opponent, former California congressman Frank Riggs, has conducted himself, especially in light of Riggs’ habit of picking fights online.

“You have to have the right temperament and energy and passion, and to not be already starting fights with people on Twitter,” Hoffman said. “It’s actually highly immature.”

On the heels of the teacher strike this spring, education is one of several decisive issues in Arizona’s election.

The #RedForEd movement has motivated educators to get involved in the political arena – people like retired teacher Minny Fischer, who on Tuesday was outside of the polling place at the Tempe History Museum encouraging people to vote no on Proposition 305. If approved on Tuesday, the referendum would expand a controversial voucher-like program for Arizona students.

“I believe in the public school system, and I can’t believe what’s happened in this state for politics and lack of funding for public schools,” Fischer said.

Activists gathered enough signatures to put a 2017 law to a referendum after the Legislature expanded a program called Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, which allow students to attend private schools using public dollars.

Fischer, who is 70, said that most people she has talked to are supportive of the cause. “A no vote means, fix what’s broken before we go on,” Fischer said. “And we have to have transparency.”

1:07 p.m. Pizza — even better than a sticker

Free pizza slices were waiting for voters in line at the polling station at Faith Lutheran Church.

12:28 p.m. Turnout, man

In a midday update, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said 127,291 voters in the county have cast ballots as of 11:50 a.m. Fontes also said the county experienced a system-wide “slowdown” minutes before noon. He said the system went offline for “a total of five minutes.”

State officials have counted about 1.63 million early ballots for Arizona voters, or about 75 percent of estimates, according to analyst Garrett Archer. About 41 percent of those voters are Republicans, 34 percent are Democrats, and 24 percent are independents. The average age of those voters is 61.

12 p.m. Lines are growing at a polling center at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Cami Jetta, a communications assistant with NextGen America, estimated the line to be anywhere from 70 to 100 people, the vast majority of them students. It had grown since she arrived at 9 a.m., she said, adding that at least 400 people had already voted, based on the number of “I voted” stickers that were given away — which have since run out.

The good news is, the wait doesn’t appear too lengthy. “It’s actually moving relatively quickly,” Jetta said of the line.

A significant number of provisional ballots are being cast at ASU, according to Jetta. Another of NextGen’s organizers was taking names of those who’d voted  provisionally, and shortly before noon the list had accumulated more than 100 names. Provisional ballots are given to voters who aren’t registered, who aren’t on the polling location’s roster, or who can’t provide valid identification.

11:50 a.m. Republicans harp on voting problems

Jonathan Lines, chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, put out a news release slamming Fontes and Maricopa County elections for the voting problems seen this morning.

"Unfortunately, the AZGOP has been made aware of multiple issues at polling locations throughout Maricopa Country, which is reminiscent of the issues we saw on Election Day during the primary season," Lines said in the statement. "County Recorder Adrian Fontes deflected the blame of those problems onto external vendors and promised that this issues would not persist. While Democrats would be quick to allege 'voter suppression' I consider this a matter of voter integrity.

"Given that this is Election Day, we must turn to solutions and what the Arizona Republican Party can offer as a resource."

As noted below, Fontes said at a news conference an hour ago that Election Day problems were "run-of-the-mill."

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Adrian Fontes wants YOU to vote.
Screenshot/ Facebook Live
10:24 a.m.: 86,000 ballots cast so far.

During an update at his office, with workers busily tabulating early ballots behind him, County Recorder Adrian Fontes told reporters that the problems at polling places have been mostly resolved. He argued that today’s election operations have played out very differently than the chaotic August primary, when issues plagued polling places.

“What we’ve experienced so far is a typical election day, with typical run-of-the-mill problems,” Fontes said. However, he didn’t have an update to provide on the polling place in Chandler that was foreclosed yesterday night, which forced his office to send people to vote at Chandler City Hall.

Check-in times today have been quick, around one minute per voter, he said. Glitches at other polling places “are all either completely ameliorated or ready to go,” Fontes said.

As for turnout, Fontes said that the election is looking more like a presidential election in terms of the number of ballots cast. Over 86,000 votes have been cast as of 9:50 a.m. today, a figure that doesn’t include early votes or ballots that were turned in late.

“That’s an amazing turnout so far,” Fontes said. He compared Tuesday’s turnout to the 2016 election, when there were about 350,000 ballots cast over the course of the entire day.

Fontes reminded voters – and we, too, will remind you – that as long as you are in line to vote at your polling place when the clock strikes 7 p.m., you can still cast your ballot.

9:52 a.m. The AZSOS site is back up.

That's how you fix a problem.

9:43 a.m.: The Arizona Secretary of State website is down.

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The one day people will be on the site, it is down.
Screenshot/ AZSOS

9:34 a.m.: The director of Progress Now Arizona tweeted anti-Trump banners spotted across the Valley.

8:46 a.m.

We went live with David Garcia on Facebook while he was handing out coffee to patrons at Fair Trade Cafe in downtown Phoenix.
8:46 A.M.: Fontes reports the Chandler location is back online:

8 a.m.

More problems were reported. This Twitter user's complaint was echoed by other voters being interviewed on TV news this morning:
7:30 a.m.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes told news stations that a polling site being rented by the county had been foreclosed on the previous night, which left election equipment behind a locked door. While officials attempted to obtain a court order that would allow them entry, Fontes told affected voters to use the Chandler City Hall Vote Center.

Fontes told Fox 10 (KSAZ-TV) News on Monday night that 72 polling places might not be ready for the 6 a.m. opening today.
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