The Margin of Fraud

So we have a very tight race for Arizona’s Second Congressional District, the one that was represented by Gabrielle Giffords until she resigned after being wounded in a rampage shooting here in Tucson. Incumbent Ron Barber was on Giffords’ staff and was also wounded in the shooting. He ran for the district in a special election and won, then ran in the 2012 General election against Republican Martha McSally, whom he narrowly defeated. Wikipedia reports:

The district was, at least on paper, slightly more Democratic than its predecessor. However, his race against Republican Martha McSally was one of the closest in the nation. McSally led on election night by a few hundred votes, but the race was initially too close to call due to a large number of provisional ballots. Barber eventually overtook McSally as more ballots were counted. By November 16, most of the outstanding ballots were in heavily Democratic precincts near Tucson. The Arizona Republic determined that as a result, McSally would not be able to pick up enough votes to overcome Barber’s lead. By November 17, Barber’s lead over McSally had grown to 1,400 votes. The same day, the Associated Press determined that there weren’t enough ballots outstanding for McSally to regain the lead, and called the race for Barber. McSally conceded the race later that morning.

Well, history repeats, kinda.  At least it rhymes.

Once again the day after the election, McSally had a lead – 36 votes. The following day her lead had widened to 363 votes. The day after that, it narrowed to 317 votes. On Saturday the margin was 509. Sunday, 341. Monday, 179.  If the final difference is less than 200, an automatic recount is triggered.

Today’s margin? One hundred thirty-three with “two hundred ballots left to count.” The key quote:

(Barber spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn said:) “In Pima County, 782 voters had their ballots rejected, and those votes have not been counted. During the legal recount process, we will work to see that every lawful vote is counted and that the voices of Southern Arizona are heard.”

Anybody taking bets on this one?  She obviously didn’t win by more than the margin of fraud.

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