Software glitch could change some elections results; Horne still in the race?

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by Catherine Holland

Video reportd by Tess Rafols and Javier Soto

Posted on August 27, 2014 at 6:25 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 28 at 11:34 AM

PHOENIX -- A software glitch in Yavapai County could make a huge difference in the race for attorney general.

Although The Associated Press has called the primary race, the outcome could change.

Based on results reported Teusday night, Attorney General Tom Horne lost his bid for re-election to challenger Mark Brnovich. Those numbers have Brnovich winning with 53 percent of the vote.

Horne, however, is not conceding. He says he is still very much in the race and has a chance to pull ahead of Brnovich. Because fewer than 26,000 votes separated Horne (198,245)  and Brnovich (223,690) when the race was called, the issue in Yavapai County means it is possible.

3TV confirmed with the Secretary of State's Office that some votes out of Yavapai County were not recorded.

The county is using a new equipment and apparently ran into a technical problem sending out results. That means the numbers reported Tuesday night were incomplete, and some results could change as the unrecorded votes are tallied.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell said she does not know how many Yavapai County votes were not tallied and referred questions about the issue to Secretary of State Ken Bennett's office.

"During Primary Election Night Reporting, Yavapai County, working with new election equipment, experienced technical difficulties properly exporting the results file out of its system," according to a statement from the Secretary of State's office. "It took until nearly 6 a.m. this morning for the county’s new system to export a results file. Once Yavapai was able to export the file, that data was successfully uploaded into the state election night reporting system without difficulty."

If the numbers hold as the Yavapai County votes are added in, it will be the first time in 12 years that an incumbent was voted out of office in primary election. Horne ousted the incumbent in the superintendent's race in 2002. In a twist of political irony, the current superintendent of public instruction, John Huppenthal, also lost his office Tuesday night.

Horne: It's not over yet

Horne, who narrowly won the attorney general's race  in 2010, has been plagued by allegations of campaign-finance violations, an FBI investigation and a hit-and-run where he pleaded no contest.

Horne said he is in a familiar position. He has been behind before, and come out the winner.

"At this time on election night in 2010, I was behind," Horne said Tuesday night. "Andrew Thomas, who was my primary opponent, gave a victory speech at the Republican party. ... As time went on, it became apparent that the momentum had been in my direction, and election day did a lot better than the early, early ballot."

If history does not repeat itself, Brnovich will face Democrat Felecia Rotellini in the general election in November.

Brnovich told 3TV's Javier Soto that he is not sure what to make of Horne's decision not to concede.

"I always used to say, 'I can't control what Mr. Horne says or does,' and the same thing applies this morning," Brnovich said Wednesday morning. "You know, the numbers are what the numbers are. You can't change the laws of physics or the laws of mathematics.

"We're very proud and happy about the way we ran our campaign," he continued. "We're confident that there's no reason why the numbers shouldn't show up. It is 6 percent."

In addition to the race for attorney general, some legislative matchups could be affected, as well.

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