by Jim Nintzel
As Pima County continued counting votes last night, Republican Martha McSally closed the gap against Democratic Congressman Ron Barber and now leads the race by a razor-thin margin of 36 votes—McSally's 78,785 to Barber's 78,749.
There are a lot of votes out there to count. Pima County has a big pile of ballots that were dropped off at the polling places yesterday and Cochise County's voting equipment malfunctioned, so all of Cochise County's early ballots are being transported to Graham County for tabulation, according to a statement on the Cochise County website. (That's not exactly reassuring news for anyone who wants an accurate count of the votes.)
In 2012, McSally had a larger lead of about 1,300 votes on the morning after the election, but Barber eventually came back to win, although it took more than a week to count all the votes and the lead moved back and forth. We expect things to play out the same way, although the outcome could be different this time. Stay tuned and we'll bring you updates as we can.