Three election campaigns will tell, what now?


All of Arizona’s ballots have been counted, but the process isn’t quite complete yet.

Two statewide contests and one legislative race qualified for automatic recounts under Arizona’s new recount law.

Here’s what to expect over the next month.

In Arizona, recounts are automatic, no candidate can request one, and take place immediately after the results are confirmed.

The first step in this process is district certification, districts are ultimately responsible for administering their own elections.

So far, nine counties have confirmed their election results as official, while six are scheduled to confirm their election results on Monday, the statutory deadline.

This is not a discretionary decision by the County Boards of Trustees.

By law, they must certify election results. If they refused, the Supreme Court would either coerce them or do it themselves.

Some certifications can be challenged in court, so all eyes are on Maricopa County.

For example, the data shows that 248,115 voters checked into one of the precinct’s 223 polling centers on Election Day to cast their ballot.

The county recorded 248,070 votes, a difference of 45. Electoral attorneys could consider this discrepancy to raise a certification challenge.

There are three contests that are close enough to be recounted based on Arizona’s new recount law requiring a 0.5% separation. Closest is the race for Attorney General, with Democrat Kris Mayes leading Republican Abe Hamedeh by just 510 points, a 0.02% difference.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction race is also recountable. Republican Tom Horne is just under the threshold by about nine thousand votes ahead of current Democrat superintendent Kathy Hoffman, a 0.38% margin.

Finally, there is a state house race in Chandler. Two Republicans vying for second place, Liz Harris, who has said she will not cast a vote in the House unless the entire election is rerun, leads Julie Willoughby by 270 votes, 0.2%.

Despite the close proximity of each of these contests, none of them would have qualified for a recount under Arizona’s old law, which required contests to be either within 0.1% or under 200 votes in the cast of statewide races.

Once state certification is complete on December 5, a lawsuit will be filed on behalf of the secretary of state notifying the courts that recounts are required.

After the lawsuit is filed and accepted, the districts will repeat the election for the listed competitions in all respects. Equipment undergoes logic and accuracy tests, and ballots are fed through the district’s powerful central counting tabulators.

The process will be much quicker than last week as all ballots have already been checked.

Counties conduct a random hand count of 2% of ballots for each contest.

Traditionally, after this process is complete, the results are sealed in an envelope and given to the judge who conducts the recount. During a public hearing, the judge unseals the results on the bench and declares the winners.


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