Election Day: Results roll in, voters share their stories
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018
Check back for updates on the Arizona midterm election throughout the night.
Miryam Gutier-Elm distributes Doug Ducey signs at the Republican watch party in Scottsdale. (Photo by Anya Magnuson/Cronkite News)
Cindy McCain greets the crowd at the Republican watch party in Scottsdale. (Photo by Anya Magnuson/Cronkite News)
New York native Michael Turner said he "voted straight down the blue line." He recently moved to Phoenix and came to the Democratic watch party to celebrate. (Photo by Daisy Finch/Cronkite News)
Planned Parenthood organizer Mellie MacEachern of Phoenix came to the Democratic watch party to celebrate and congratulate fellow Democrats for "all the hard work they've done." (Photo by Daisy Finch/Cronkite News)
GOP leaders at the Republican watch party check results online as results begin to pour in from across the country. (Photo by Anya Magnuson/Cronkite News)
Organizers at the Republican watch party distributed signs to party-goers that say “Securing Arizona’s future.” (Photo by Anya Magnuson/Cronkite News)
Democratic faithful get ready to watch results come in at their watch party in Phoenix. (Photo by Daisy Finch/Cronkite News)
Jevin Hodge, vice chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, fires up the crowd as more people file in to the Democratic watch party in Phoenix. (Photo by Daisy Finch/Cronkite News)
Jonathan Lines, Arizona state chairman of the Republican Party, attended the GOP watch party in Scottsdale. (Photo by Anya Magnuson/Cronkite News)
Art Tolis, vice mayor of Fountain Hills, talks to his son, Kyle Tolis, at the Republican watch party in Scottsdale. (Photo by Anya Magnuson/Cronkite News)
Alexander Miller talks with Elaine Cain at the Democratic watch party in Phoenix. Cain said she hasn't been politically active in the past, but Trump changed that. Miller came to the event after seeing a friend's Facebook post about it. He figured it would be a good way to "meet new people, reconnect and see what happens." (Photo by Daisy Finch/Cronkite News)
Teresa Mendoza is Latina and said at the Republican watch party that she feels the Democratic party’s platform is to impeach the president and has resulted to using fear tactics to gain more votes. (Photo by SuElen Rivera/Cronkite News))
Attendee Ashur Warda celebrates at the GOP watch party. (Photo by Anya Magnuson/Cronkite News))
Frank Portera of Waddell, AZ, cheered wildly when it was announced on CNN that Democrats had taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives. (Photo by Daisy Finch/Cronkite News)
Democratic governor candidate David Garcia spoke on election night after it was announced Republican Gov. Doug Ducey won a second term. (Photo by Daisy Finch/Cronkite News)
Yee, Brnovich secure victories
Republican Kimberly Yee is projected by the Associated Press to take over as state treasurer, defeating Democrat Mark Manoil.
Yee replaces outgoing State Treasurer Eileen Klein.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich has been projected to win re-election by the AP, defeating Democrat January Contreras.
Brnovich will enter his second term as the state’s attorney general.
Ann Kirkpatrick projected to win election
Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick has been projected by the Associated Press to win election to the U.S. House representing Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.
She defeated Republican Lea Marquez Peterson in the seat left vacant by Martha McSally, who is in the U.S. Senate race.
Kirkpatrick rejoins the U.S. House of Representatives after representing Arizona’s 1st Congressional District during two different stints.
Last voter casts ballot at Arizona State
Noe Ramirez, an ASU freshman, was the last voter at the Palo Verde West polling center.
He said he was glad he arrived in time to make his voice heard, even if that meant a long wait.
“It honestly didn’t feel like two hours and 15 minutes,” he said.
Born in Mexico, Ramirez said he felt empowered to vote for his family.
“I’ve come from a long family of immigrants and for me it’s just very important making sure that I make my voice heard in America because a lot of my ancestors, my family, have not been able to do that.”
Five congressmen expected to win re-election
Ruben Gallego, Paul Gosar, Raúl Grijalva, Andy Biggs and David Schweikert all won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, the Associated Press reported.
Gallego did not face a Republican challenger but was opposed by Green Party candidate Gary Swing.
Gosar fended off Democratic challenger David Brill and Grijalva defeated Republican Nick Pierson, Biggs edged out Democrat Joan Greene and Schweikert defeated Democrat Anita Malik.
Greg Stanton secures House seat
The Associated Press has projected Greg Stanton as the winner of the U.S. House representing Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. The former Phoenix mayor faced Republican Steve Ferrara for the seat left vacant by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who left office to run for Senate.
To a group of supporters Tuesday night, Stanton shouted, “I’ve got your back!”
Proposition 126 approved
Proposition 126, which prohibits the state from implementing or increasing taxes on everyday services has been approved by Arizona voters, the Associated Press reported.
The measure was brought about by a group created by Arizona Realtors called Citizens for Fair Tax Policy, who opposed raising taxes on seniors, parents and those in need of child care, car or house repairs, construction projects – and real-estate transactions.
Democrats and Republicans confident
Attendees at the Democratic watch party in downtown Phoenix cheered loudly after seeing a CNN poll showing a close race between Rep. Kyrsten Sinema and Rep. Martha McSally.
After watching results from around the nation and voter turnover across the state, Jevin Hodge, vice chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, was optimistic as results start to trickle in Tuesday night.
“There’s an opportunity for a long night. There’s an opportunity for us to be here for a long time as we’ve seen from returns across the nation,” Hodge said. “It’s razor-thin and it’s close. We’re hopeful and we’re very excited for a Kyrsten Sinema victory, a David Garcia victory and statewide victories here.”
At the Republican watch party in Scottsdale, Jonathan Lines, chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, felt the work his group put in over the last year and a half would pay off.
“I’m feeling quite enthusiastic about tonight. We’ve worked really hard over the last month 18 months,” Lines said. “We’ve hit almost two million phone calls and over a million dollars. We’ve been working in the trenches each and every day and I feel like we’re going to do really well tonight.”
Polls close across Arizona
Polls in Arizona closed at 7 p.m., but people who were in line at the time still will be allowed to vote. People can’t join the line once polls close.
A Maricopa County Superior Court judge denied a request from several groups for a temporary restraining order to extend polling hours, saying it would confuse the county elections process.
At Arizona State University in Tempe, voters waited for more than two hours, munching on pizza and listening to music.
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes offered an explanation.
“One of the reasons why the lines were a little longer was because a lot of those students are voting provisionally,” he said. “They may not have had documents that were needed with them. It’s a bit of a transitory population.”
Fontes said the volume of voters at the campus may mean officials will add polling locations at other universities and community colleges.
“We’re already talking with the administrations at some of those, including community colleges,” Fontes said. “We’re hoping to expand the partnerships we have so we can have vote centers at more permanent locations.”
Tempe: Long lines, pizza and frustration at ASU
The line at Arizona State University’s Palo Verde polling location wrapped around the building just hours before the polls closed Tuesday evening.
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said his office was sending more equipment to the location to hopefully decrease the wait time.
@Tempegov @ASU #vote #VoteToday
I waited in line in the heat for 3 hours at ASU, voted in a cramped room that was over max capacity, to then find out I got a citation because I ran out of credit at meter. The worst voting experience ever https://t.co/HrUCYzfofY
— ChrisThatOtherChris™ (@OohSnapItsChris) November 6, 2018
“Younger voters are really enthused right now,” Fontes said. “They’re really getting out to vote this year and that’s really exciting for us.”
On campus, waiting voters appeared to be in good spirits, passing out pizza and water.
But at least one voter was unhappy, describing his three hours at the polling place as the “worst voting experience ever.”
— Cronkite News (@cronkitenews) November 6, 2018
Hannah Peterson, an ASU student, was at the back of the line at the Palo Verde West polling center Tuesday evening.
She said she arrived Tuesday morning to vote, but had to leave the line to go to class. She was shocked by how much longer the line was when she returned.
“I decided to come back and the line is like ten times longer,” said Peterson, who was voting for the first time. “I think it’s totally worth it to wait.”
Goodyear police arrest man with BB gun at polls
Brad Luebke, 37, was arrested about 1 p.m. after he brought a BB gun into Desert Springs Community Church, a polling location in Goodyear, and filmed inside the facility, police said.
Officers said they asked Luebke, who was wearing the BB gun in a holster, to leave. They also repeated Arizona election statutes that forbid filming inside a polling location. Luebke refused to cooperate, police said, and was arrested. He is accused of three counts of disorderly conduct, misconduct involving weapons and recording within 75 feet of a polling place.
Phoenix and Chandler: U.S. Senate candidates greet voters
U.S. Senate candidates Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema separately met with voters across the Valley several hours before the polls closed on Tuesday.
McSally, a Republican, talked with voters at Chase’s Diner in Chandler while Sinema, a Democrat, greeted voters outside Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix.
“We’ll be talking to voters the rest of the day,” McSally said. “We’re trying to engage with people and make sure that if they haven’t voted they get out there.”
Sinema said she was at the University of Arizona Tuesday morning and was encouraged by the long lines there and at Arizona State University polling locations.
“Students were so excited to vote,” she said.
Whether Sinema or McSally wins, Arizona will send its first woman to the U.S. Senate.
“It’s clear that women are choosing to vote and participate in Arizona’s election this year,” Sinema said.
Downtown Phoenix: Mayoral candidate Kate Gallego encouraged by high turnout
More Phoenix residents have cast ballots in this year’s mayoral election than ever before, candidate Kate Gallego said.
“People really understand that elections have consequences and that it matters who you elect,” she said Tuesday while greeting voters at Burton Barr Central Library. “People want to be part of the process.”
Gallego said the high turnout was good for democracy.
“We’re hoping to have people of all ages voting and that people really do their homework,” she said.
There are three other candidates running for Phoenix mayor in addition to Gallego: former City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, former Tempe Union High School District School Board member Moses Sanchez and Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee.
One candidate will have to receive the majority of votes to win the election and avoid a runoff. Gallego said she has been preparing for the potential of a runoff election.
“For most people, the election will be over today,” she said. “But for Phoenix mayor, it could be five more months of hard work and convincing voters that we are the best for Phoenix.”
Phoenix: Elections analyst says Senate race may be tough to call
Garrett Archer, a senior analyst for the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, spends much of his time crunching numbers.
He posts his election insights frequently on his Twitter account – and calls himself the AZ Data Guru.
Archer predicts the race between Rep. Martha McSally, R-Tucson, and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, will be too close to call when polls close at 7 p.m.
The candidates, who are in a contest to replace the seat vacated by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, have been neck-and-neck in the polls.
“I would be surprised if the (Associated Press) is willing to call that race today,” he said.
Archer said if the race was called Tuesday, it would likely be in favor of Sinema because of the national political environment pointing toward strong Democratic returns.
Party split has been something we have been talking about since the very beginning. I mentioned a "stepping" trend in the narrowing of the split by day. Here's the quick and dirty chart. pic.twitter.com/eYAdNxWElZ
— The AZ Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) November 6, 2018
Once returns start coming in at 8 p.m., Archer said he would look to Maricopa County, where about 4 million of Arizona’s 7 million residents live, as an indicator of who the race was favoring.
“Because Maricopa is such a large chunk of the Election Day vote … it would be easy to extrapolate the (other Arizona) counties at that point,” Archer said.
Guadalupe: Immigration issues motivate voter
Elia Garza, 61, of Guadalupe said immigration was one of the most important issues for her in the midterm elections.
“They should just enforce more, but be equal to everybody crossing the border to do it the right way,” she said.
Garza said people should only come to the United States legally.
“If you come in illegally you’re just gonna have problems all your life.”
Tempe: ASU students pack campus polling place
As early as 6:20 a.m., voters lined up outside the Palo Verde West polling location at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.
Zoe Stein, a 23-year old graduate student at ASU, came out to encourage young voters to cast their ballots.
Stein, the organizing director for NextGen Arizona, said young people increasingly care about issues such as immigration reform, access to health care and education.
“If we vote, we will win,” she said. “And we will have representation in government that also cares about these issues.”
Stein said they heard from student voters that the Tempe polling location had issues printing the ballot. She said the problem was fixed by 7 a.m.
“We know at a bunch of locations across the county, printing was an issue that they had to work out,” she said. “But last I heard, they fixed it. And we’re good to go, and the line is moving.”
By midmorning, dozens of people were in line, but it was moving swiftly.
Ahwatukee: Election worker and activists clash
Tensions flared at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center midmorning when an election worker told Democratic activists they were too close to the entrance of the polling location.
Arizona law prohibits electioneering within 75 feet of the entrance of voting locations.
The election worker told the activists they must stand 75 away from the gates of the parking lot, instead of 75 feet away from the building entrance where the activists were standing.
Robert, from Laveen, the man who had a conflict with a voting official in Ahwatukee, stayed to talk about the situation.
— Nathan Hiatt (@NATE_HIATT) November 6, 2018
When the activists refused to move, the election worker called the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Two officers quickly arrived and told the activists they could stay.
The deputies said the election worker was the instigator of the conflict and asked her to return inside. Another election worker later came out and apologized for the conflict.
Chandler: Voter travels to three polling locations to cast ballot
Voter Lee Worthington said he tried to vote early Tuesday morning, but when he went to his assigned polling place, the line was out the door.
He went to Chandler City Hall instead, and workers told him they couldn’t print his ballot, he said.
He then headed to Tumbleweed Recreation Center, where he voted quickly – and he headed back to City Hall to tell others in line there.
He said his biggest frustration was “not having someone who could give me answers or point me in the right direction.”
Worthington said the main reason he was so persistent was his interest in Proposition 126, which would constitutionally prohibit the state from imposing a sales tax on services. He said the proposition would affect real-estate agents who he works with and raise the cost of living.
Flagstaff: Contested races, ballot propositions increase turnout
Voters are energized and turning out in a higher than normal numbers in the Flagstaff area, Coconino County Recorder Patty Hansen said.
“It’s too early to tell, but there seems to be a lot more interest in this election,” Hansen said.
She said her office already has processed nearly 30,000 early ballots and still has 5,000 more to process from the weekend. She said about 4,000 people had voted Tuesday morning.
Hansen compared that to the 2014 midterms, when or nearly 38,000 people voted. She said she expects competitive races are driving higher turnout this year.
“There’s contested races at the top of the ticket, like U.S. Senate or governor,” Hansen said. “Also, ballot questions drive interest, and we have some statewide and local ones this year.”
Hansen said the elections in her county have run smoothly Tuesday morning, and they have faced no technical difficulties or long lines.
Cronkite News reporters Owain Evans, Nathan Hiatt, Samantha Lomibao, Chris McCrory, Bryce Newberry, Alexis Potter, Carly Henry, Samie Gebers and Karisma Sandoval contributed to this article.
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