Week after election, Maricopa County officials have 100k ballots to count

Nov 15, 2018, 2:01 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2018, 8:47 am

Election workers place ballots into electronic counting machines, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, at the Bro...

Election workers place ballots into electronic counting machines, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, at the Broward Supervisor of Elections office in Lauderhill, Fla. The Florida recount begin Sunday morning in Broward County. (Joe Cavaretta /South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

(Joe Cavaretta /South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

PHOENIX — There is finally a winner in the closely watched U.S. Senate race between Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally, but elections officials in Maricopa County are continuing to count about 100,000 ballots before Nov. 6 can be brought to a close.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes on Thursday that the reason the counting process is taking so long is because officials are working for accuracy, not for speed.

Fontes said if there is a mistake on a ballot, whether it be from an improper tally or a pen drop, the ballot will get kicked out of the tabulation machine. That ballot then has to be looked at and then sent on to be tabulated.

“This process is what we should want to happen,” he said. “This is the best process. This is what it was designed for.”

Fontes said that the last time county elections officials had the “safeties on” in order to more easily catch mistakes on ballots, in 2012, all of the ballots weren’t counted until Nov. 20.

With days left until Thanksgiving, Fontes said he hopes it does not take another five days to count the rest of the ballots, but admitted that it could take a little while longer because of the increased voter turnout for the midterm election.

“I will weather whatever criticism I get for being slow as long as I get it right,” he said. “That’s all that matters.”

Fontes also said his office was still hiring people to help count votes. If you want to sign up, you can find information here.

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Week after election, Maricopa County officials have 100k ballots to count