Why the AP Hasn’t Called The Arizona Governor’s Race

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has not declared the Arizona governor’s race between Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Republican Cary Lake, a former broadcaster, open.

Vote counting in Arizona has continued since Tuesday’s midterm elections, with officials in the state’s 15 counties releasing vote tallies as they were processed at various intervals.


Almost all of Arizona’s voting is done by mail, although some voters vote in person at polling places. Most Arizona counties do not count ballots in-house, with officials bringing them to a central facility.

Early votes in Arizona can be counted as they come in, meaning officials don’t have to wait until the polls close on Election Day to begin.

Arizona officials release their vote totals in batches. Much of the focus has been on Maricopa, the state’s largest county, with a total of 4.5 million residents — more than half of Arizona’s total population — and about 2.4 million registered voters.

But other big releases come from Arizona’s next two most populous counties: Pima (home to Tucson) and Pinal, a large, suburban area south of metro Phoenix.

Here’s the situation so far, starting with the most recent information:

MARICOPA: Around 10 p.m. Eastern time Friday, officials in Maricopa released another batch of 75,000 ballots, a batch that provided enough information for the AP to determine that Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly had been re-elected over Republican Blake Masters.

But it still wasn’t enough for the AP to emerge a winner in the governor’s race. The vote favored Hobbs over Lake by less than 10 percentage points.

PIMA: Pima County’s Friday vote totaled nearly 25,000 and favored Hobbs over Lake by nearly 2 to 1. Officials said they only had about 6,000 regular ballots to verify Saturday.

Republican supporters stand outside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office in Phoenix to protest what they claim is an unfair election.
Republican supporters stand outside the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office in Phoenix to protest what they claim is an unfair election.

Alberto Mariani via Associated Press

MARICOPA: On Thursday, Maricopa County reported a total of 78,000 votes, in a sweep that favored Hobbs by 10 percentage points.

PIMA: Pima County released a total of about 32,000 votes Thursday, favoring Hobbs by about 30 percentage points.

PINAL: Pinal County polling released Thursday of about 8,500 people favored Lake by about 10 percentage points.

MARICOPA: On Wednesday afternoon, Maricopa County officials released their first batch of ballots, data that did not include any of the 275,000 early ballots received on Election Day.

Overall, Maricopa officials reported a total of 225,065 votes, favoring Lake by more than 30 percentage points.

PIMA: Pima County voting releases Wednesday totaled nearly 83,000, with Lake leading Hobbs by more than 20 percentage points.

PINAL: Wednesday’s vote from Pinal County totaled about 75,000, favoring Lake by more than 20 percentage points.

MARICOPA: On Election Day, nearly 837,000 votes came from Maricopa County, favoring Hobbs over Lake by more than 10 points.

PIMA: Pima County officials reported nearly 190,000 votes, with Hobbs holding a more than 2-to-1 lead in Lake.

PINAL: Pinal County officials released nearly 38,000 votes, which were split almost evenly between Hobbs and Lake.


After voting was released Friday, the margin in the governor’s race was just over 31,000 votes, with Lake about a point and a half behind Hobbs.

Across Arizona, officials said there were about 400,000 ballots left to be counted, including as many as 275,000 votes remaining in Maricopa County. Tens of thousands of those remaining votes were ballots turned in on Election Day itself — votes known in some quarters as “late early” votes that have been known to hinder counting.

In all, Maricopa officials said they processed a record number — 290,000 — of rejected early ballots on Election Day.

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