Maricopa County now says most ballots won’t be counted by Friday: ‘The goalposts have changed’

Nov 10, 2022, 4:47 PM

(Twitter Photo/Maricopa County)...

(Twitter Photo/Maricopa County)

(Twitter Photo/Maricopa County)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County officials revised a prediction that most ballots would be counted by Friday, saying a day before that deadline that widespread counting would continue into the weekend.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said Thursday during a press conference that the original forecast of 95% to 99% of votes being counted by Friday wouldn’t happen due to the high total of ballots dropped off on Election Day.

“I’m here to tell you the goalposts have changed,” Gates said.

About 290,000 ballots were dropped off on Tuesday, shattering the previous Election Day record, according to Gates.

Approximately 1.1 million ballots in Arizona’s most populous county had been recorded as of Thursday afternoon, with 400,000 still left.

Maricopa County said another drop would be released in the 8 p.m. hour Thursday. That batch was expected to be more than the 62,000 ballots released Wednesday night, Gates said.

Drops around the size of Wednesday’s release were expected daily until all votes had been counted, added Gates.

“We saw great involvement [on Election Day] and there’s a process under Arizona law that we have to go through … and that takes a while,” Gates said.

As of Thursday afternoon, no winners have been called in all of Arizona’s top-of-the-ticket races, including Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly ‘s reelection battle against Republican Blake Masters, as well as the open governor’s race between Katie Hobbs, the Democratic secretary of state, and Republican Kari Lake, a former TV broadcaster.

The Associated Press also hasn’t called winners in contests for Arizona’s attorney general and the new secretary of state.

And no race calls have been issued in some of the state’s U.S. House races.

Lake was about half a point behind Hobbs, and the Republican candidate for attorney general also trailed narrowly.

Democrats had 5-point margins in the races for U.S. Senate and secretary of state, but with so many ballots outstanding, the contests were too early to call.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Maricopa County now says most ballots won’t be counted by Friday: ‘The goalposts have changed’