Officials in Arizona’s Maricopa County say it will take days to count over 400,000 uncounted ballots as the state waits with bated breath to find out the results in the state’s closely watched Senate and gubernatorial races.
At a Wednesday press conference, Maricopa County election officials said that of the 400,000 outstanding votes, at least 275,000 were votes cast early that were delivered to county election offices by Election Day.
At the press conference, Maricopa County elections Recorder Stephen Richer noted that the number of early votes cast was far greater than in the 2020 presidential election and that because the number “is a mess,” public policy should be considered to prevent it from happening in the future.
“This is a number that keeps on growing in so many ways. It’s wonderful Arizonans appreciate the ease of the voting process and that you can just take your own ballot and drop it off on Election Day, but it does prevent us from having a higher percentage of returns available within the first 24-48 hours,” Richer said.
Richer and county board of elections Chairman Bill Gates said that the county will deliver updated results once every evening until all votes have been tabulated.
On Tuesday, a number of tabulation machines in Maricopa County failed to function properly, leading to increased scrutiny over the election process in the state’s most populous county.
The problems led to long lines at polling locations, and the Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit seeking to extend voting by three hours, but a judge declined to issue an emergency extension.