The Arizona gubernatorial election may have been called on Monday night, but Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs’s victory may not be set in stone for another few weeks.
The race for governor in Arizona was close for days between Hobbs and Republican candidate Kari Lake ahead of Monday’s declaration, with a recount possible within the next few days. A new state law allows a recount to be made in an election if votes are separated by 0.5 percentage points, widening the possibility of a recount from the previous distance of 0.1 percentage points, according to AZ Family.
“If it’s around 10,000 votes, certainly a recount probably won’t result in a change, but if your race is decided by single digits, like mine was, then, of course, you want it to be recounted,” said Christine Jones, a former congressional candidate.
Jones ran for the Republican candidacy for Arizona’s 5th District in 2016, losing the primary to Andy Biggs by only 16 votes. Biggs’s razor-thin victory meant that Jones was eligible for a recount, though that recount led to Biggs expanding his lead to a victory of 27 votes, with Jones stating that it was “a lot of effort for that small of a difference.”
Scott Jarrett, Maricopa County’s director of Election Day and emergency voting, said automatic recounts can not be initiated until after the Secretary of State’s Office begins its canvass on Dec. 5, with the process possibly dragging out until Dec. 30. Jarrett had previously said up to 3 million votes could be cast in Arizona, meaning that the number of votes needed for an automatic recount would be 15,000, according to Axios.
On Sunday, the day before Hobbs’s victory was declared by several outlets, the Democrat led the race with over 26,000 votes, giving her a 1 percentage point lead ahead of Lake. While Lake has gained ground in catching up with her opponent in votes, the margin of victory between the two is still not enough for a recount to take place, according to AZ Central.
Hobbs, who serves as Arizona’s secretary of state, gave her thanks to the state after Monday’s announcement, stating that “democracy is worth the wait” after a winner was declared nearly one week after the election.
As of Tuesday morning, Lake has not conceded the race, saying on Monday evening, “Arizonans know BS when they see it.”