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Pima County officials find 208 more ballots

PPima County elections officials discovered 208 additional ballots on Wednesday from voters in the tightly contested 2nd Congressional District race.

County elections officials plan to count the newly discovered ballots and less than 100 verified conditional provisional ballots by the end of the day, Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez said.

Republican Martha McSally currently has a lead of 133 votes over incumbent Democratic Rep. Ron Barber.

The additional ballots come from Republican-leaning Green Valley and could put McSally’s margin outside the 200-vote threshold for an automatic recount.

If that happens, Barber couldn’t request a recount but could contest the results in court.

Rodriguez said county elections officials found the additional general election ballots while processing envelopes for a special ballot for the Continental School District.

School district residents on an early voting list were sent the special ballots because the general election ballot they had received incorrectly said they were to vote for three school board members instead of two.

The county Election Department chose to resend voters an additional ballot just for the school board election.

But some voters apparently returned their general election ballot in the special ballot envelope by mistake.

The recorder is reviewing the ballots to ensure voters are credited with voting.

Rodriguez has also verified 83 conditional provisional ballots from the 2nd District. Another 13 ballots will need additional identification from voters before being processed.

McSally said Tuesday she was confident her lead would hold. Barber said he was not giving up.

“It’s not over,” he said Tuesday night. “We have a recount coming.”

If McSally wins, it would be the only victory by a Republican in the three Arizona congressional seats now held by Democrats that Republicans targeted this year. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema easily won re-election.

McSally and Barber faced off in a similar battle during the 2012 election. Barber trailed for days, finally taking the lead on the Friday after Election Day.

Barber had won a special election to replace his former boss, Rep. Gabby Giffords, just months before the November 2012 election. McSally is a former Air Force combat pilot.

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