Arizona’s top election official cautions against rush to call races

Nov 4, 2020, 9:56 AM | Updated: 10:15 am

(AP Photo)...

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – It may be a little early to pop the cork in some of the close races in Arizona, the state’s chief election official said, citing her own come-from-behind win two years ago.

“I was 44,000 votes down and now I’m secretary of state. That took 10 days,” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Wednesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

The Associated Press projected Democrat Joe Biden as the winner against President Donald Trump in Arizona, and political newcomer Mark Kelly as the winner against Republican incumbent Martha McSally in a hotly-contested U.S. Senate race.

The news service called the presidential race early Wednesday, after an analysis of ballots cast statewide concluded there were not enough outstanding to allow Trump to catch up.

Kelly led McSally, 52.6% to 47.4%.

“I don’t have the job of calling races … but there are still hundreds of thousands of ballots left to count in Arizona, primarily in Maricopa County, so I think that I would advise caution in terms of celebrating victories right now,” Hobbs said.

She added there were around 250,000 outstanding ballots in Maricopa County, the state’s most populated region.

“Those are early ballots that were dropped off [Tuesday] or received Monday,” Hobbs said. They will start counting those Wednesday.

Counties also have provisional ballots and conditional provisional ballots, she explained.

It’s up to each county to verify the eligibility of provisional ballots, but with conditional provisional ballots, a voter has five days to provide identification “or whatever was needed to prove their eligibility,” Hobbs said.

Counties also have five days to cure mismatched signatures on the early ballots. “There might be some outstanding in that category and we don’t know how many that is yet,” she said. That may not be completed until next Tuesday.

Finally, counties have 20 days immediately after the election to finalize results.

“Nothing is official until our office signs off on the canvass at the end of November,” Hobbs said.

“What I’m focused on is making sure that we get it right. And that does take time.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Juneteenth, or Emancipation Day, commemorates the end of chattel slavery on June 19, 1865 in Galves...

Race relations expert says ‘every American’ should celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a day of celebrating for "every American, white, black or otherwise," race relations expert Daryl Davis said Wednesday.

5 hours ago

Scottsdale-based chipmaker onsemi is planning a large investment into a Czech Republic facility. (o...

Associated Press

Scottsdale-based chipmaker Onsemi to invest up to $2 billion in Czech Republic facility

The U.S. chipmaker onsemi is planning a multi-year investment of up $2 billion in its production facility in the Czech Republic.

8 hours ago

A woman was killed in an alleged domestic dispute in Tempe.  (Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police De...

Alleged domestic dispute overnight in Tempe leaves woman dead

Police officers detained two individuals in connection to a shooting in Tempe that left a woman dead, authorities said.

9 hours ago

Glendale Police identified the suspects as Ricardo Jaime Moreno, left, and Jesus Humberto Beltran A...

Serena O'Sullivan

2 suspects arrested for discharging guns in Glendale

Two suspects were arrested after discharging guns in a Glendale neighborhood on May 19, Glendale Police announced on Wednesday.

10 hours ago

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)...

Jim Sharpe

Is Biden using migrants as political pawns — in a game of checkers?

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe wonders if Biden is using migrants as political pawns -- in a game of checkers -- following recent executive action.

11 hours ago

A Silver Alert was issued for an 88-year-old man last seen Friday morning in Mesa who has dementia ...

Subject of Silver Alert from Mesa found dead almost week after disappearing

A Silver Alert subject from Mesa who had been missing for nearly a week was found dead, authorities announced Wednesday.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Arizona’s top election official cautions against rush to call races