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Pima County margins could help sway presidential race in one direction

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Maricopa County is where the majority of votes will come out of our battleground state on election night.

But both Pima County party leaders say the results in Arizona's second-largest county could go a long way in determining a winner in the presidential race here in the Grand Canyon State.

With just a few days to go in this long campaign season, early voting in Pima County has now ended.

As of Friday night at 7:30 p.m., the latest data from the Pima County Recorder’s Office showmore than 376, 000 Pima County voters have already voted with Democrats outpacing Republicans in returned ballots by more than 76,000. None of this data shows how voters cast their ballots. 

Both major party chairs in Pima County say the numbers coming out of this Democratic stronghold could prove to be a big indicator as to which presidential candidate will take Arizona.

“Pima County is going to make the Democratic margin that gives Arizona’s 11 electoral votes to Biden-Harris,” Pima County Democratic Party Chair Alison Jones said.

“Our total that we come out down here in Pima will, I think, turn this election statewide in the presidential race and in the Senate, of course,” Pima County GOP Chairman David Eppihimer said.

Jones argued the Democratic base in this Democratic stronghold is fired up while Eppihimer hopes for a big turnout on Election Day to close the gap countywide. 

“GOP does tend to vote later and slightly more of them vote on the polls on Election Day,” Jones said. “But, compared to 2016, this lead is unprecedented.”

“These totals coming out of here will be instrumental because it’s going to be so close,” Eppihimer said. “Every vote in the state is going to matter.”

State law allows Arizona election officials to begin counting ballots 14 days before Election Day.

However, both party leaders are doubtful a winner will be declared in our state on Tuesday night. 

“We won’t have a winner declared for most of these races including the presidential for Arizona, I don’t think for 7 to 10 days,” Eppihimer said.

“I’m counting on perhaps having to wait a day or two,” Jones stated. “Because of the questions regarding the integrity of the election whether they’re warranted or not, it’s worth making sure every vote is counted.”

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Eric Fink

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