The voting may be over in the midterm elections, but not all the votes have been counted. In two Senate races that were among the handful of tossup states, the results remain too close to call.
In Arizona and Montana, two of the red states that were hotly contested by Democrat candidates, there is still no official winner. In Arizona, Republican Martha McSally leads by less than one percent with 850,043 votes. Democrat Kirsten Sinema has 834,135 votes with only 75 percent of precincts reporting.
In Montana, the Billings Gazette reported that, as of 6:00 a.m., Republican Matt Rosendale led incumbent Democrat Jon Tester by about 3,000 votes with several thousand votes left to be counted. CNN puts the race even closer with Rosendale leading with 204,013 votes to Tester’s 202,029. There are currently 95 percent of precincts reporting.
Most of the uncounted votes in Montana are from Missoula and Gallatin Counties. These votes are expected to favor Tester and could possibly erase Rosendale’s lead. The race promises to be a nail-biter until the last vote is counted.
Both states have laws that allow for recounts if the vote is sufficiently close. In Arizona, an automatic recount is triggered if the vote margin is within 1/10 or one percent or if the vote is closer than 200 votes. In Montana, a tie vote triggers an automatic recount, but recounts can be requested either by the candidate or voters if the margin is less than 0.25 percent. If the margins in either state are close enough to allow for a recount, the extent of Republican gains in the Senate may not be known for several days.