by Jim Nintzel
With Republican challenger Martha McSally leading Democratic Congressman by a razor-thin margin of 133 votes, The Range has learned that about 200 ballots have surfaced in the Continental School District, much of which lies within Congressional District 2.
The ballots were among a batch of ballots from voters in the Continental School District race where a typo occurred on the ballot sent to voters. They were told to pick three candidates instead of two for the school board race, so a special ballot had to be resent to voters in that school district.
About 7,000 of those replacement ballots are being sorted out by the Pima County Recorder's Office—and workers have discovered that about 200 voters sent back their general-election ballots in the wrong envelope, according a Pima County source.
More details as we get them.
UPDATE: Pima County spokesman Mark B. Evans sends out the following bulletin regarding the extra ballots:
The Pima County Elections Department today discovered about 208 general election early ballots that voters had placed in the wrong early ballot envelope.
Those ballots have already had their signatures verified by the Recorder’s Office but are being sent back to the Recorder today so that the voters are given credit for having voted in the general election. They will then be sent back to elections for counting.
The Elections Department will count them this evening along with all remaining provisional ballots transferred after 5 p.m. About 200 provisional ballots were cast by voters who had insufficient identification under the ID requirements set by state law. Voters have until 5 p.m.m today to present sufficient ID in order to have their ballot counted. A number of voters have presented their ID, but an exact number is not available currently.
Explanation of the 208 early ballots:
When early ballots were mailed to Pima County voters in October, it was discovered that the Continental School District Governing Board race was incorrect on the ballot. The ballot said “vote for three” when there were only two seats open. The County Elections Department, in consultation with the Pima County School Superintendent, decided to send all Continental School District voters who had received an early ballot a separate Continental School Board ballot only. Continental District early voters were to vote their general election early ballot and send it in, and vote their Continental School District early ballot and send it in (any Continental votes on the general election early ballot were ignored). Voters who went to their polling place on Nov. 4 were given two ballots, a general and special Continental ballot. The Continental early ballots received before the election and on election day were identified by a portion of the bar code on the envelope and set aside to be counted after all of the general election ballots were counted. The intent is to count them Friday, Nov. 14. In preparing the 7,034 early Continental ballots for counting today, the Elections Department discovered 208 general election ballots that the voter had mistakenly placed in their Continental early ballot envelope.