Tucson processing mail-in ballots; less than a week to go

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Voters have less than a week to make their choices and mail back their ballots.

The city is already busy processing returned ballots while both parties make their last minute pitches to voters.

Time is running out for the candidates. The ballots are already coming in and both parties claim they have the upper hand.

The political messages are everywhere; on the ground, in the sky and in the home.

"We've seen a series of dishonest smear ads running on television and radio against our candidates," said Pima County Democratic Chair Jeff Rogers.  "How much effect that will have I don't know,"

"I do think the facts need to come out," said Pima County Republican Chair Carolyn Cox.

What effect those ads are having on the ballots flowing in is unclear.  City workers are busy processing thousands of votes. For now just 22 percent of the ballots have been returned, but the city expects that number to grow.

"The ease of vote by mail will motivate people to mail in their ballots and vote and be part of the process,"

One by one, the city will go through each ballot to make sure it's counted. It's the first vote by mail election in Tucson's history and they want to get it right.

For now, the GOP turnout is just over 2 percent higher than the Dems.

"I'm very confident Tucson will reject Tea Party extremist candidates," Rogers said.

"The response we're getting is people want change in the Democrat controlled city council," Cox said.

The party chairs can say whatever they want, but the voters and their ballots will have the final word.