2018 midterms

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema defeated Republican Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race, The Associated Press, NBC News, and several other outlets project.

The winner wasn't apparent on Nov. 6, as Arizona still had a lot of votes to count, and on Monday, Sinema's lead over McSally grew to 1.7 percentage points. McSally tweeted her congratulations to Sinema, and said she remains "inspired by Arizonans' spirit" and believes "our state's best days are ahead of us."

Sinema, a three-term congresswoman who bills herself as a moderate, will fill the seat held by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R), becoming the first woman in state history elected to the Senate. Catherine Garcia


President Trump is once again baselessly claiming key Florida elections have been tainted by voter fraud, now also calling for election officials to stop counting votes and declare a Republican victory.

On Twitter Monday morning, Trump said that the gubernatorial and Senate races in Florida should be called for Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) and Gov. Rick Scott (R), respectively. Republicans lead in both races, though each is tight enough to have prompted a recount. But Trump doesn't want to wait for recounts; he says the vote count from Election Day should stand, without counting any of the ballots tallied since.

This is despite the fact that in Florida, voters who are overseas at the time of the election, including members of the military, have until Nov. 16 to have their votes counted as long as their ballots were postmarked by the day of the election, reports Mediaite. But Trump isn't accepting that the vote tally has changed since last Tuesday, claiming that ballots have "showed up out of nowhere" and taking this as evidence of a "massively infected" process, even though the Florida Department of State says it has seen "no evidence of criminal activity at this time," reports Politico. Brendan Morrow


As Georgia's gubernatorial race continues to tighten as votes are counted, Democrat Stacey Abrams' campaign has filed a new lawsuit in federal court.

Abrams' campaign seeks to challenge the rejection of some absentee ballots, which were thrown out because of small mistakes, such as the voter listing the date they were filling out the ballot instead of their date of birth, The Washington Post reports. The suit also seeks to count provisional ballots that were rejected due to the voter still being listed as registered in a different county even after they've moved away.

This lawsuit concerns two counties, Gwinnett and Dekalb, and Abrams' campaign wants election officials to get in touch with the voters whose ballots have these problems rather than not counting the ballots at all. The Abrams campaign is also seeking to extend by one day the deadline by which counties must certify their election results, delaying it from Nov. 13 to Nov. 14, CNN reports.

Based on The New York Times' latest estimates, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) currently leads Abrams with 50.3 percent of the vote. But that percentage has gradually lowered in recent days as additional votes have been counted, and if it drops below 50 percent, a run-off election will be held in December. Kemp has declared himself the winner and called on Abrams to concede the race. Abrams has refused to concede, and is no doubt hoping for a run-off. Brendan Morrow

November 9, 2018

Now that key Senate and gubernatorial races have tightened in Florida and Georgia, President Trump is pointing to fraud as the only possible explanation.

Trump on Friday accused attorney Marc Elias, who is representing Sen. Bill Nelson's (D-Fla.) campaign, of being an "Election stealing lawyer," claiming that Broward County "miraculously started finding Democrat votes" with Elias' help. The Senate race between Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott has tightened so that Scott now leads by just 0.18 percent, enough to result in a hand recount, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Scott on Friday filed a lawsuit against two counties, alleging that "left-wing activists" have been "coming up with more and more ballots out of nowhere."

Trump is now echoing Scott, promising to send "much better lawyers to expose the FRAUD!" Florida's gubernatorial race is also likely headed to a recount, with Republican former Rep. Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum now separated by less than 0.5 percent.

The president also said that Georgians should "move on" and accept Republican Brian Kemp as the winner of Georgia's gubernatorial race. Kemp leads his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, with just 50.3 percent of the vote, CNN reports. If he drops below 50 percent as more ballots are counted, there will be a run-off election.

In another tweet, Trump sarcastically quipped that we should "blame the Russians" for the fact that "they are just now finding votes in Florida and Georgia." Brendan Morrow

November 8, 2018

On Thursday night, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who ran for Senate against incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D), filed suit against Broward and Palm Beach counties, accusing "unethical liberals" of trying to steal the election.

Scott is suing as a Senate candidate, not the governor. On Tuesday night, the race was too close to call, with Scott in the lead. The race has tightened as more votes have been counted, and Scott is now asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the official counts. Scott claims that Broward County and Palm Beach County supervisors are engaging in "rampant fraud," and he alleged that "left-wing activists in Broward County have been coming up with more and more ballots out of nowhere."

As of Thursday night, Scott has 15,092 more votes than Nelson, The Tampa Bay Times reports. Dan McLaughlin, a spokesman for Nelson, called Scott's action "politically motivated and borne out of desperation," and said "the goal here is to see that all the votes in Florida are counted and counted accurately." Catherine Garcia

November 8, 2018

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema now has a narrow lead over Republican Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race.

The Arizona secretary of state posted the latest numbers on Thursday evening, and Sinema now has 932,870 votes statewide to McSally's 923,260 votes. The winner will take over the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who decided not to run for re-election.

Officials say there are still 345,000 votes in Maricopa County that need to be counted, plus a smaller number in other counties, including about 195,000 early, provisional, and out-of-precinct ballots that were dropped off on Election Day, ABC 15 Arizona reports. Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said it will take several days to get all the ballots counted, and officials will provide updates daily at 5 p.m. Catherine Garcia

November 8, 2018

GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has resigned as Georgia's secretary of state, he announced Thursday.

As the state's top election official, Kemp faced pressure to step down as he took on Democrat Stacey Abrams in Georgia's too-close-to-call gubernatorial race. But he remained in office through Election Day, only leaving to move forward with the gubernatorial transition, The Washington Post writes, since he has declared victory in the still-contested race.

Kemp's recent tenure was plagued with allegations of voter suppression, especially against minority voters. An investigation by The Associated Press showed Kemp had "purged" 1.4 million voters' registrations since 2012, and a follow-up lawsuit alleged that Kemp's "exact match" policy prevented thousands of voters from re-registering. Judges eventually ruled to halt Kemp's policy, restoring 53,000 Georgians' rights to vote. Still, critics said Kemp's oversight of his own election was fishy even without suppression allegations.

The race still hasn't been called, and Abrams has said the number of still-uncounted votes should lead to a December runoff, reports AP. Kemp's resignation is effective at 11:59 a.m. Thursday. Kathryn Krawczyk

November 8, 2018

We regret to inform you that Broward County is at it again.

Eighteen years after its hanging chads mired an entire presidential election, the Florida county's ballots are again pulling a nationally watched race into question. Around 24,000 people who voted in Florida's gubernatorial race didn't pick a candidate for Senate, and some think a poorly designed ballot may be to blame, South Florida's Sun Sentinel reported Thursday.

Both the gubernatorial race between former Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), and the Senate race between Gov. Rick Scott (R) and incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D), were incredibly close on Tuesday night. Gillum has conceded to DeSantis, but the Senate race is probably headed for a recount despite Scott's claim of victory.

As of Wednesday night, votes were still being counted in the "Democratic stronghold" of Broward County, and the county election supervisor doesn't know how many are left, the Sentinel writes. Unofficial results are expected by Friday, but officials are already noticing something strange — about 680,000 voters picked a governor's candidate, but only 656,000 chose someone for Senate. Several voters told the Sentinel they didn't see the Senate race on the ballot.

About half of the shifty ballots marked Gillum for governor, and the other half voted for DeSantis, so there's a chance their votes would've evenly split between the Senate candidates as well. Still, the fact that a woman who broke federal and state election laws in 2016 is still in charge of Broward County's elections is raising some questions on its own. Read more at the Sun Sentinel. Kathryn Krawczyk

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