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About 350,000 Maricopa County early ballots to be counted after Election Day

An Arizona elections official at the Maricopa County Recorder's Office gets ready to box up recounted ballots in the 5th Congressional District race Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, in Phoenix. Arizona officials on Tuesday began counting thousands of ballots in the razor-thin Republican primary in a Phoenix-area congressional district. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Some Arizona Election Day results may have to wait until Wednesday to be announced, as the state’s largest county is estimating 350,000 early ballots will be counted later.

Maricopa County Recorder spokeswoman Elizabeth Bartholomew said if there’s a large enough gap, some races may be too close to call. The delay could also stretch further than Wednesday.

However, Bartholomew clarified that the votes would be counted, just on a different day.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell said the ballots are taking a while to count because of the process used to count ballots.

A vote count taking about a week is not rare in Arizona. In a lot of elections, a recount must be held to determine the correct winner and the process takes time.

In Arizona’s August primary, a recount decided the state’s 5th Congressional District vote. Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs won the Republican primary by less than 30 votes.

The count could affect the nation’s presidential race, as some projections have the election potentially hinging on Arizona’s 11 Electoral College votes.

Though exactly how close the vote will be is unclear. Some polls said Arizona was essentially a toss-up, but polls conducted closer to Election Day gave Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump a 5-point lead over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Several other races — including the contest for Maricopa County sheriff between Joe Arpaio and Paul Penzone and Proposition 205, which would legalize marijuana in the state — are also expected to be close.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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