Maricopa County Elections judges will review the ballot papers at Maricopa County Elections headquarters in Phoenix on November 9th. David Wallace / The Republic / USA Today Network
More than half of all Arizona counties conducted post-election audits and, according to reports filed with the Secretary of State, either found no inconsistencies or microscopic issues that did not affect the outcome.
Audits in the four largest counties of Arizona, which accounted for 86% of all votes for the state president, found no evidence of the systematic electoral fraud that President Trump has complained about. No irregularities were found in Maricopa County, home of Phoenix. Officials in Pima County, home of Tucson, checked a random sample of 4,239 votes in the president’s race and found only a two-vote discrepancy.
Arizona currently has the closest gap between Trump and President-elect Joe Biden. Biden leads the way with 11,537 votes, or just 0.34% of more than 3.3 million ballots cast nationwide. According to the State Secretary, fewer than 25,000 ballot papers have to be counted. CNN has not yet projected a winner.
On the previous Thursday, Trump tweeted: “From 200,000 votes to less than 10,000 votes. If we can check the total number of votes cast, we will easily win Arizona too!” The numbers he cited were inaccurate – Biden’s lead in Arizona hasn’t fallen below 10,000.
Under state law, bipartisan review boards in all 15 Arizona counties routinely conduct handcounting tests for early ballots and election day elections. Audits, whose districts begin within 24 hours of the surveys being completed, must include five races, including the presidential race. Under the ordinance, they must count regular ballot papers on election day from at least two counties or 2% of the counties, whichever is greater. The districts are selected at random by drawing.
Three GOP-oriented counties – Yuma, Gila and La Paz – did not conduct the audits because local Republican Party leaders did not designate members to attend, election officials said. Their lack of involvement is surprising considering Trump has made baseless allegations that Republican election observers are sidelined.