On Thursday, the results of the recount of three general election races in Arizona were finally released, and they showed a much larger discrepancy than was expected. Most notably, the Attorney General’s race narrowed to a margin of just 280 votes between Republican Abe Hamadeh and Democrat Kris Mayes.
Despite the fact that the change in total votes was so large, and that there was also a failure to perform a random hand-count of a sample of the ballots that generated the new results, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge declared Mayes the winner.
The judge’s decision stunned politicians and pundits, as well as the Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel.
This is one of the closest statewide races in AZ history, and we continue to support @AbrahamHamadeh to make sure every legal vote is counted. (2/2)
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) December 29, 2022
“The recount in the Arizona AG’s race cut the Democrat’s lead by nearly half – from 511 to 280 votes. What’s the explanation for why these votes were missed at first? That discrepancy is shocking, especially since a recount just puts the ballots through the machines again,” tweeted McDaniel. “This is one of the closest statewide races in AZ history, and we continue to support @AbrahamHamadeh to make sure every legal vote is counted.”
Hamadeh is expected to appeal a ruling made in his election challenge case.
“We MUST get to the bottom of this election,” Hamadeh wrote in a tweet after Thursday’s hearing. “Transparent elections are fundamental to a democracy. A discrepancy this big in the recount calls for an inspection of ALL the ballots.”
“I will say once again that I’m thankful to everyone who took their time to vote, and democracy truly is a team sport,” Mayes said in a press release issued after the hearing.
The results of the statutorily required recount in 3 races were expected to be released on December 22nd however, inexplicably, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs petitioned the courts to have the results go directly to her office and asked to postpone the release until Thursday December 29th.
The handling of the recount process has caused great concern among even the most experienced election professionals.
It's quite concerning to see a total vote count for a single race swing by over 600 votes after a statutory recount, even in a statewide race. Even more so when hundreds of those votes came from one county like Pinal. This does nothing for voter confidence or transparency.
— David (@dromneyAZ) December 29, 2022
“It’s quite concerning to see a total vote count for a single race swing by over 600 votes after a statutory recount, even in a statewide race,” tweeted David Romney, a former manager of the Election Services Division of the Arizona Secretary of State’s office. “Even more so when hundreds of those votes came from one county like Pinal. This does nothing for voter confidence or transparency.”