Horne maintains lead in GOP primary for AG - East Valley Tribune: Politics

Horne maintains lead in GOP primary for AG

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Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 5:50 pm | Updated: 10:17 am, Sun Aug 29, 2010.

The decision of which Republican runs for state attorney general could come as early as Saturday.

But not necessarily.

State election officials reported late Friday they are down to approximately 21,450 ballots to be counted. By contrast, at last count Tom Horne led Andrew Thomas by only 536 votes out of more than 540,000 cast.

But it's not a simple matter of counting.

About 15,500 of what's left are "provisional'' ballots, where some question remains about whether they were legally cast.

Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne said some of these are from people who moved since their last registration and showed up at the polling place near their new home.

She said election officials need to determine that they were, in fact, registered somewhere in the county and that they did not cast a ballot in their old precinct. If that is the case, Osborne explained, the ballot is counted.

Osborne said other provisional ballots were given to people who had been mailed an early ballot but came to the polls anyway. She said election workers need to verify that the early ballot was not returned.

And Osborne said a small number of provisional ballots were given to people who did not have proper identification when they came to the polls. These voters had until 5 p.m. Friday to show up at county offices with the necessary documents.

Counting continues today.

Horne, the state school superintendent, at one point was up by more than 1,000 votes over Thomas, the former Maricopa County attorney.

In this race, a recount is legally required if the difference ultimately falls below 200. There is no provision in Arizona law for a loser to demand a recount.

The survivor of the race will face off in November against Democrat Felecia Rotellini who won a three-way primary.

About 12,000 of the remaining ballots, all provisional, are from Maricopa County where Thomas has led Horne. Pima County, where Horne has outpolled Thomas, has about 3,500 provisional ballots.

The Secretary of State's Office reports only La Paz and Yuma counties reported final results, with the remaining ballots spread among the other 11 counties.



State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne maintained his lead Friday over former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas in the race to become the Republican nominee for Arizona attorney general.

Horne held a 448-vote lead over Thomas.

Horne had been leading by 1,073 at the start of business Friday.

State Rep. David Lujan had conceded Thursday to former state financial regulator Felecia Rotellini in the race's Democratic primary.

The general election will be held Nov. 2.

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