Today is election day in Arizona. A U.S. Senate seat hangs in the balance. Several other competitive races could change the makeup of Arizona leadership, from the U.S. Capitol to the Statehouse to your City Hall.
For complete Arizona primary election results, visit results.azcentral.com.
PRIMARY VOTE PROBLEMS? Tell us your story to assist in our investigation
Ugenti-Rita leading in Arizona Senate District 23
In Arizona Senate District 23, Michelle Ugenti-Rita was leading former state Department of Economic Security director Tim Jeffries, according to early voting results. Gov. Doug Ducey fired Jeffries following a series of investigative stories by the Arizona Republic.
9:35 p.m.: Don Shooter trailing in Arizona Senate race
In races for the Arizona Legislature, Don Shooter, who was expelled from the House was in third place in Arizona Senate District 13, according to early results. Sine Kerr was leading the race with nearly 50 percent of the vote. Brent Backus was in second place.
8:13 p.m.: Diane Douglas still behind in early results for superintendent
Diane Douglas is trailing Bob Branch and Frank Riggs for her party’s nomination for state superintendent of public instruction in the Republican primary, according to early results. Democratic Kathy Hoffman leads David Schapira for the Democratic nomination, according to early results.
10:18 p.m.: Ann Kirkpatrick wins Democratic nomination 2nd congressional district
Ann Kirkpatrick has won the Democratic nomination for U.S. House in Arizona’s 2nd congressional district, according to the Associated Press.
10:07 p.m.: Joan Greene wins Democratic nomination 5th congressional district
Joan Greene has won Democratic nomination for U.S. House in Arizona’s 5th congressional district, according to the Associated Press.
9:05 p.m.: Nick Pierson wins GOP nomination 3rd congressional district
Nick Pierson has won the Republican nomination for U.S. House in Arizona’s 3rd congressional district, according to the Associated Press.
9 p.m.: Gaynor beats Reagan for SOS
Challenger Steve Gaynor has beaten Michele Reagan in the GOP secretary of state primary, according to early results on the the Arizona Secretary of State’s website.
8:56 p.m.: Ruben Gallego wins Democratic nomination 7th congressional district
Ruben Gallego has won the Democratic nomination for U.S. House in Arizona’s 7th congressional district, according to the Associated Press.
8:57 p.m.: Steve Ferrara wins GOP nomination for 9th congressional district
Steve Ferrara wins Republican nomination for U.S. House in Arizona’s 9th congressional district, according to the Associated Press.
8:55 p.m.: Lesko wins Republican nomination for 8th congressional district
Debbie Lesko has won the Republican nomination for U.S. House in Arizona’s 8th congressional district, according to the Associated Press.
8:42 p.m.: McSally wins Republican nomination for U.S. Senate
Martha McSally wins Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Arizona primary election, according to the Associated Press.
8:33 p.m. Garcia wins Democratic nomination for governor
David Garcia wins Democratic nomination for governor in Arizona primary election, according to the Associated Press.
8:29 p.m. Gov. Ducey declared winner of Republican primary
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey beat a Republican challenger in the primary round of his re-election bid, according to the Associated Press.
Ducey bested former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, a more conservative GOP candidate who had little funding and campaign resources, in Tuesday’s primary.
8:24 p.m.: AP calls race for Sinema
The Associated Press is declaring that Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has won the Democratic nomination for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat, a largely expected victory for the centrist Democrat.
Sinema defeated community activist Deedra Abboud in Tuesday’s primary. She’ll face the winner of a three-way Republican primary in November.
8:20 p.m.: McSally, Sinema leading Senate primary races
Rep. Martha McSally, a two-term congresswoman from Tucson, led her Republican rivals, former state Sen. Kelli Ward of Lake Havasu City and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Fountain Hills, according to early and unofficial results from the Secretary of State for the Arizona Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona.
Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who has served three terms and is from Phoenix, led her challenger, Deedra Abboud, a progressive activist and attorney from Scottsdale.
8:15 p.m.: Gaynor has lead in SOS race
Challenger Steve Gaynor is beating Michele Reagan in the GOP secretary of state primary, according to early results.
8:13 p.m.: Diane Douglas behind
Diane Douglas is behind in the race for state superintendent of public instruction in the Republican primary, according to early results.
8:11 p.m.: Ducey leading Republican primary
Gov. Doug Ducey is leading in the Republican primary for governor, according to early voting results. David Garcia is the front-runner among Democrats.
7:45 p.m.: People still in line at Tempe polling site
People are still in line waiting to vote at Tempe Public Library at Rural Road and Southern Avenue.
7:13 p.m.: Mike Pence congratulations Ducey on win before results even in
Results aren’t even in yet, but Vice President Mike Pence Tweeted out a congratulatory message for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on his “primary victory tonight” at 7:13 p.m. The Tweet was later deleted.
7:05 p.m.: Long lines reported at polling site in Tempe
Tempe Public Library at Rural Road and Southern Avenue is reporting long lines after the polls close in Arizona with reported wait times of two hours.
7 p.m.: Polling sites close in Arizona
7 p.m.: Polling sites in Arizona are now closed. You will still be able to cast your ballot if you were in line by 7 p.m. For complete Arizona primary election results, visit results.azcentral.com.
6 p.m.: County recorder says voter problems nothing like 2016
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes rode into office in 2016 in the wake of a “presidential preference” election that went terribly wrong, with people standing in line for too long at too few polling places.
So when 62 of the County’s 503 polling places failed to open on time Tuesday morning, it begged comparison. Fontes, a Democrat, claims it is not the same at all.
The company hired to set up the voting equipment, he said, did not send the number of technicians the county had contracted for, and so he had to “up-train” county employees to plug in wires and get the equipment ready for election day.
The company said it did its job, and the problems were on the county end.
Fontes said Tuesday’s election was nothing like that fateful election in March 2016.
“What happened in 2016 is the day got worse and worse as the day went on. In this case we had a circumstance where the day didn’t begin too well and got better and better as the day went on,” he said.
As for criticism from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Chucri, who said “there is no shortage of resources to run a successful election,” Fontes responded:
“The supervisors do what the supervisors do,” Fontes said. “And we were busy on the ground.”
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes speaks about the Board of Supervisors’s decision to not extend the polling hours after voting issues.
Mark Henle, The Republic
4:25 p.m.: Third time is a charm for this Scottsdale voter
Scottsdale resident Joe Cerrito dropped off his ballot around 4:10 p.m. at the Mountain View Community Center, 8625 E. Mountain View Road. He said it was the third polling location he had been to on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, one polling location near Scottsdale Road and Acoma Drive was closed, he said. Another location had a long line, he said, even for people who were there to just drop off ballots.
Scottsdale resident Danielle Chu said she tried to vote at 6 a.m. at one location near 40th Street, which was closed. She showed up later in the day at 4:30 p.m. at Mountain View Community Center in Scottsdale and was able to cast a ballot.
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said Tuesday morning that as of 6 a.m., workers had not completed the set up in 62 polling places. All sites were functioning by 11:30 a.m., he said.
— Perry Vandell
3:48 p.m.: Maricopa County won’t extend poll hours
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors says it won’t extend poll hours tonight after poll sites reported issues with equipment malfunctioning and some polling places were closed.
In a statement, Board Chairman Steve Chucri said board members were not told of any concerns with polling sites on Monday. He said the County Recorder’s Office received $3.9 million for new technology in fiscal 2018, and the county appropriated nearly $20 million for elections this fiscal year, “so there is no shortage of resources to run a successful election.”
“Now the Board is being asked to step in and take unprecedented action that may confuse voters, delay returns, and have other unintended consequences. We encourage any voter who wants to cast their ballot to be in line at any of your designated polling places by 7 p.m. and their vote will be counted.”
2:50 p.m.: Governor’s office supports polls being open later
Daniel Ruiz, a spokesman for Gov. Doug Ducey, said there is no more important day for Democracy in this country than election day.
He said the governor supports an extension of voting time “if it means that more people will have the opportunity to make their voices heard at the ballot box.”
“As the governor has stated before, it’s vital that all qualified voters have the ability to vote and that elections in Arizona are conducted properly,” Ruiz said. “That must be the rule for every election held in Arizona, no exceptions.”
Kelly Fryer, one of three candidates in the Democratic primary for governor, said, “I absolutely support an extension to make sure everyone has a chance to vote, and beyond that, we need to get serious about fixing the systemic issues that are plaguing our election process.
“It’s time to demolish the barriers to voter education, registration and participation once and for all,” she said.
— Maria Polletta
2:05 p.m.: All Maricopa polls are operational
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said all polling sites are operational. He tweeted that, as of 6 a.m., the set-up in 62 polling places had not been completed. All sites were functioning by 11:30 a.m., he said.
Charles McNulty came to vote at Burton Barr Library around lunchtime after he learned the voting system at the Encanto Park Clubhouse was not operational.
“It was very frustrating,” McNulty said. “For a primary two years ago, I waited in line for 4½ hours, so I was annoyed again.”
McNulty said because of his change in location, he also had to vote provisionally.
“I’m not happy with it,” McNulty said. “I wait to vote on the day of the election because I like the whole the process as a citizen. The right to vote is one of the only rights I’m guaranteed.”
— Angela Forburger
1:40 p.m.: Polling sites may be open later
All polling sites are now operational, but some voting centers may be kept open until 9 p.m., according to Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.
If that happens, early ballot results wouldn’t be released until 10 p.m.
Keeping polling centers open late could mean petitioning the court and getting a court order, which is not yet definitive.
— Jessica Boehm
1 p.m.: Quick lines in Tempe
Voters were met at the Escalante Community Center with short lines and a quick voting process.
Jerrin Watkins-Ferroni said she has been voting since she turned 18, and came out to her polling location to drop off her ballot.
Watkins-Ferroni said she voted for Kelli Ward because of her ideals and values.
“I felt that she was the best choice out of the Republican candidates,” Watkins-Ferroni said.
Phyllis Matthew, a long-time voter in Arizona, said health care and teacher pay were important issues to her.
“Really, we want new people that are considering those who aren’t rich and wealthy,” Matthew said. “I want someone that cares about the veterans too, because my sister, brother and dad are veterans.”
Matthew said she liked Kyrsten Sinema and David Garcia as candidates.
“I don’t care for McSally,” Matthew said. “She was against Trump in the beginning, now she switched and she is for Trump.”
Matthew said she doesn’t understand how those who were against Trump, can switch their stance to supporting the president with a straight face.
— Victor Ren
12 p.m.: Secretary of State calls for extended hours
Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has called for Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes to seek a court order keeping select polling places open past 7 p.m. due to several reports of voters having issues with equipment malfunctions and closed polling places.
“In light of today’s issues at Maricopa County polling places, they should seriously consider asking Superior Court to have selected locations open later than 7 p.m.”
11:30 a.m.: Candidate unable to vote
Kristina Kelly wanted to be the first person voting at her polling location, the Via Linda Senior Center. That’s because she’s running for State Senate in Legislative District 23.
But Kelly was met with a surprise this morning when she and her mother went in to vote at 6 a.m. The location was closed.
Volunteers told her computers were never delivered and never set up for voters. She and her mother then went to nearby Mountain View Community Center, where a volunteer took her name down on a yellow legal pad and gave her a ballot.
“We definitely need to learn from this,” Kelly said. “People told me they don’t feel included or part of the process, and then to top it off they get to the polling location and this happens. That’s incredibly frustrating.”
Kelly said as a first-time candidate, she has concerns that similar issues will plague voters during the general election and hopes the Maricopa County Recorder can handle the issue by the end of the day.
“We are working incredibly hard and have reached out to as many people as possible in our community,” Kelly said. “If it happened to me, I know it’s happening to a lot of voters.”
Congressional reporter Ron Hansen details all the info you’ll need to know going into the next election.
Noah Lau, Arizona Republic
10 a.m.: Four polling sites closed
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes addressed the widespread voting issues at a press conference Tuesday morning.
He said his office became aware of issues with the voting equipment Monday when troubleshooters were testing at the polling sites.
The contractor responsible for the voting machines was supposed to provide more than 100 technicians to assist with issues, but only 70 were available.
Fontes said his office staff tried to address as many problems as they could, but some of the machines were still malfunctioning when polling places opened Tuesday morning.
“I would be surprised if there were fewer than 100 (polling places impacted),” he said.
But as of 10 a.m., only four were still experiencing issues.
The impacted sites were the traditional polling places, not the 40 “bonus vote centers” set up throughout the Valley, where any registered voter can cast a ballot.
“This is not a hiccup. This is a serious concern where voters across Maricopa County couldn’t get voting,” Fontes said.
— Jessica Boehm
9:30 a.m.: Voting locations not set up
Noelle Stovell and her husband went at 6 a.m. to the polling location they’ve been voting at for the last 15 years. But they arrived to find the building closed and completely dark.
Stovell says they then went on a scavenger hunt looking for their next polling location, tucked away in the back of a trailer park off of Cave Creek Road. They arrived to find that none of the voting machines had been set up, with the location only accepting mail-in ballots.
The Stovells ultimately had to head to a temporary voting location at Paradise Valley Community College, where only provisional ballots were available.
“My vote might not even count,” Stovell said. “This is absolutely ridiculous.”
Stovell noted that the volunteers at her polling location were frustrated, saying that only 20-30 people out of a community of hundreds of voters had been able to cast a ballot all morning.
“Something is definitely not right,” she said. “It just seems way too horribly unorganized. It doesn’t seem coincidentally or accidentally disorganized, it seems purposefully disorganized.”
With such an important primary election, Stovell is worried about the consequences this type of disorganized chaos will cause.
“This is something that might be a little more systemic and I’m afraid it might continue into the general,” she said. “I’m sure they were able to, one way or another, keep people from voting.”
9 a.m.: Voters being redirected
A man in a silver truck stops someone at the entrance of the clubhouse parking lot at Encanto Park.
“The voting machines are down,” he yells. “They say go to Burton Barr Library.”
Voters who had arrived at Encanto earlier in the day also reported having to go to Burton Barr to fill out a provisional ballot.
Scott Winebriner walked away from the clubhouse in frustration.
“Came here thinking I would be able to vote and couldn’t vote,” he said.
He said he will now have to take more time out of his day. Although he usually mails in his ballot, he recently moved.
Phoenix resident Karrie Snodgrass dropped off her ballot at Encanto, saying it was important for her to vote because she wants more Democrats in office in the state.
— Lauren Castle
8:30 a.m.: Turning voters away
Equipment is back up and running at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Phoenix.
“We set everything up yesterday and tested it and everything worked perfectly,” said volunteer Catherine Rivera Carey. “Then, this morning, we hit a technical glitch.”
Carey said volunteers redirected people, continued to take their drop-off ballots and tried to give them options for other locations to vote. Less than a dozen people were at the polling location when the machines went down.
“We also reassured them that once this is all back and running we will continue to take people,” she said.
More people were being turned away at the Devonshire Precinct in Avondale.
Kim Owens and her husband went in to vote after 8 a.m. and saw that only five ballots had been processed. Volunteers said that only one out of the three machines had been working and had to redirect at least 40 people to different polling locations.
Owens said her first concern is that her polling location is in a heavy Republican precinct and that voter suppression tactics might be taking place.
Owens criticized Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes for running on a campaign of voter integrity and abolishing long lines.
“For someone who campaigned on voter integrity and against long lines, this is an absolutely unacceptable performance,” Owens said. “Those machines should have been double and triple checked.”
— Sierra Poore
8 a.m.: Troubleshooting via Twitter
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes was responding to tweets from voters experiencing issues at their polling locations early Tuesday morning.
“new river polling location still not open!!!!!” one user wrote in a tweet directed at Fontes.
“Hey Chad, I’m looking into this. Thank you for reaching out. Are you still there?” Fontes responded.
The troubleshooting comes after a handful of complaints have begun trickling in regarding equipment being down at polling locations around the state.
7:36 a.m.: Remembering McCain
Cindy McCain, the widow of late U.S. Sen. John McCain, posted a heartfelt tribute to her late husband on Instagram early Tuesday morning.
The grainy photo of McCain shows the senator gazing out at the desert Arizona landscape.
“He loved this state and it’s wonders,” Cindy McCain’s caption read.
The post comes as the death of John McCain on Saturday has overshadowed Arizona’s Senate primary election.
7:26 a.m.: Polling equipment down
Voters at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Phoenix reported having difficulties with voting this morning. Equipment was down for about an hour with no ability to verify voter identification.
Volunteers assisting could not immediately provide information about the closest alternate polling locations.
Voters also reported computer issues at Burton Barr Library in Phoenix.
Polling locations at 42nd Street and Baseline and Union Hills and 15th Avenue had either been experiencing computer issues or voters reported that computers were not set up.
The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
There will also be 40 “bonus vote centers” open across Maricopa County where any registered voter can cast a ballot.
Voters can also call the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office at 602-506-3535 or the Secretary of State’s Office at 602-542-4285 for information on polling locations.
6:40 a.m.: Early risers
Wet flip flops squeak while hitting the asphalt outside of Fairway Recreational Center in Sun City. “Vote Here” signs lined the sidewalk.
It’s a regular day for some Sun City residents, including Ada Vrastiak and her husband, who rode their bikes to the center.
The two began voting by absentee ballot three years ago after hearing about the long lines at polling locations in Arizona.
“I just like to vote in all elections, and I want to see if the candidate that I want to succeed will be picked for November,” Vrastiak said.
— Lauren Castle
6:31 a.m.: Ward kicks off on Twitter
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kelli Ward held a press conference on Aug. 27, 2018, to discuss her comments about the late Sen. John McCain.
Kelli Ward started off Election Day with a tweet reaffirming her commitment to border security, including ending chain migration and building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Ward is a Republican U.S. Senate candidate running against two-term congresswoman Rep. Martha McSally and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Tuesday’s race.
Ward received backlash for her tweets on Monday after saying “Political correctness is like a cancer!” following the death of U.S. Sen. John McCain. Ward was referencing a post she had made Saturday following McCain’s death, where she insinuated that the announcement from the McCain family that he was ending medical treatment was timed to hurt her candidacy.
Ward apologized for her comments in a press conference Monday, saying, “I do understand how many could have misconstrued my comments as insensitive. And for this, I apologize.”
5 a.m.: How to vote
Many people already have voted early by mail. Election Day voters can find their assigned polling location by visiting the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office website or the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office website. There will also be 40 “bonus vote centers” open across Maricopa County where any registered voter can cast a ballot.
Voters can also call the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office at 602-506-3535 or the Secretary of State’s Office at 602-542-4285 for information on polling locations.
ELECTION DAY: What you need to know on Aug. 28
Voters need to bring a form of identification to the polls. The following photo IDs are accepted:
- Valid Arizona driver’s license.
- Valid Arizona non-operating ID license.
- Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal ID.
- Valid U.S. federal, state or local government issued ID.
If you do not have one of these forms of ID, visit the recorder’s office for a list of other acceptable forms of ID.
If you received a mail-in ballot but have not yet returned it, to ensure it’s counted, drop off your completed ballot at any polling place today. You do not have to wait in line. Do not return your ballot by mail.
The Arizona Republic asked candidates in every race to respond to a survey. You can see their answers and compare candidates through our online voter guide.
— Jessica Boehm
Arizona Republic reporters Perry Vandell, Michael Kiefer, Sierra Poor, Angela Forburger, Maria Polletta, Rachel Leingang, Jessica Boehm, Jen Fifield, Ronald J. Hansen, Dianna Nanez and Victor Ren contributed to this story.
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