3-vote margin triggers automatic recount in Maricopa County primary race

Aug 16, 2022, 3:00 PM

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)...

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)

PHOENIX – One race in the Maricopa County’s recent primary election was so close that it triggered an automatic recount under state law.

After Maricopa County’s canvass of the Aug. 2 election results was completed on Monday, only three votes separated the Democratic candidates for justice of the peace in Phoenix’s West McDowell Precinct.

Incumbent Teresa Lopez topped state Rep. Robert Meza 2,236-2,233, but the difference was three votes shy of avoiding a recount.

Republicans didn’t field a candidate for the office in the primaries, so the recount winner will take the seat.

According to state law, a recount is required when the margin of victory is less than one-tenth of 1% of the total number of votes cast in the contest. In the case of the Democratic West McDowell justice of the peace primary, that trigger point was five votes, the county said.

To start the recount process, the Maricopa County Elections Department conducted a logic and accuracy test of tabulation equipment on Tuesday.

The next step is to open the sealed ballot boxes and recount the ballots, a process the county political parties were invited to observe.

No results can be released while the recount is ongoing. The final tally is scheduled to be presented during an Aug. 24 Superior Court hearing, but the date could be moved up if county officials are ready to report sooner.

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3-vote margin triggers automatic recount in Maricopa County primary race