Arizona’s big races are not yet being called as the slow count continues

PHOENIX – Arizona’s largest county could soon begin reporting the results of ballots dropped at polling stations on Election Day, providing clues as to whether Republicans may overtake Democrats Critical races for US Senate and Governor.

With half a million ballots still to be counted Friday, Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters would need to win more than 60% of those to defeat Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly. In the gubernatorial race, Republican Kari Lake would need to win just over half to overtake Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Early Friday afternoon, Kelly Masters led by 5.6 percentage points while Hobbs was just 1.4 points ahead of Lake.

Republicans, convinced the remaining ballots heavily favor them, have been pressuring election officials in Maricopa County, where the majority of Arizona voters reside, to speed up the count. County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, a Republican, said the team is working as quickly as possible but is taking time to follow the detailed steps required by Arizona law.

County officials said they were inundated with far more early ballots on Election Day than they have ever had to process before.

Counting those ballots is time-consuming because officials have to verify each one is from a legitimate voter, a process that couldn’t begin until Wednesday.

Pima County in the Tucson area also still had a sizable portion of the vote to count. According to the Secretary of State, the state’s two urban counties together account for 90% of the remaining ballots.

Either party could gain control of the US Senate by winning Arizona and either Nevada’s pending Senate contest, which was too early for Friday, or next month’s runoff in Georgia.

Democrats think it’s possible that Arizona’s remaining ballots will be much less favorable to the GOP and allow some or all of their candidates to maintain their leadership.

As of Friday afternoon, Democrats led the Secretary of State race by 5 points and the Attorney General race by just under 1 point. In two of the state’s non-convened house contests, contestants were separated by 2 points or less. In a third, Democratic incumbent Greg Stanton had a far more comfortable 14-point lead.


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Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Arizona’s big races are not yet being called as the slow count continues

Sarah Y. Kim

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