Suspense mounts: Results of Arizona recounts delayed until next week

Dec 22, 2022, 12:09 PM | Updated: Dec 23, 2022, 11:15 am
(Twitter Photo@MaricopaVote)...
(Twitter Photo@MaricopaVote)
(Twitter Photo@MaricopaVote)

PHOENIX — Arizonans will have to wait another week to learn the results of state-mandated automatic recounts in three races, including the attorney general cliff-hanger.

The results were initially scheduled to be released Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Judge Timothy Thomason rescheduled the hearing for 10 a.m. Dec. 29 at the request of Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

The motion to delay the hearing was made earlier this week because not all of the counties had finished the recount process.

As of Thursday morning, 14 of the state’s 15 counties had completed their recounts and sent the results to the secretary of state. Pinal County was done tabulating but was still working on the post-tabulation audit process.

The motion also noted the ongoing lawsuit filed by Republican attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh over his 511-vote loss to Democrat Kris Mayes in the Nov. 8 general election.

In addition to attorney general, the races for superintendent of public instruction and the second state House seat from District 13 finished under the .5-percentage point threshold to trigger an automatic full recount.

Republican Tom Horne outdistanced Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, the Democratic incumbent, by 8,967 votes (.35 percentage points).

Liz Harris finished in front of fellow Republican Julie Willoughby by just 270 votes (.2 percentage points) for the second District 13 seat. Democrat Jennifer Pawlik won the race by a large enough margin to clinch her spot.

The recount process couldn’t begin until after the official results were certified at the statewide canvass on Dec. 5.

Hobbs filed documents with the state court system to get the process started later that day.

It’s extremely rare for a recount to reverse a result.

FairVote, a nonprofit that studies election practices, found three races that flipped out of 35 recounts nationwide over the last two decades.

“Every time that it has happened, the initial margin between the top two candidates was within .06 percentage points,” Deb Otis, FairVote research director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM in November.

If that holds up, the attorney general’s race would be the only one with a shot at being reversed by the recount.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino and Luke Forstner contributed to this report.

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Suspense mounts: Results of Arizona recounts delayed until next week