Automatic Recount Coming for Arizona Attorney General and Other Races

Counties across Arizona have finished counting votes for the 2022 General Election, but several races remain too close to call and are within range of an automatic recount, including the highly contested race for Arizona Attorney General.

“We’re not done fighting and we are optimistic the recount will further expose the gross incompetence and mismanagement by Maricopa County officials that disenfranchised and silenced the voices of so many Arizona voters,” tweeted Abe Hamadeh, the Republican nominee for the position.

Under Arizona law, an automatic recount is triggered in any race where a winner is not declared by a margin greater than 0.5 percent. Previously, automatic results would only start if the difference was 0.1 percent, but the State Legislature bumped that number up.

With Arizona potentially having the final vote tallies in, Hamadeh’s fight for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office is extremely close.

Current results show Democrat Kris Mayes leading over Hamadeh by just 510 votes, putting the two at a 50/50 percentage tie. Yet, after this data release, Mayes made a confident statement saying she expects to be ahead even following a recount.

“As we head into a recount with a 510 vote lead, we feel confident that the end result will be the same, and I am very much looking forward to being your lawyer for the People,” Mayes said.

Moreover, the attorney general’s race is not the only one going to a recount. Republican Tom Horne currently leads incumbent Kathy Hoffman (D) in the race for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction by 8,968 votes. While this is a significantly larger difference than the other race, it only gives Horne a 0.4 percent lead, triggering the recount. However, Kathy Hoffman has already conceded in her race. Horne told The Arizona Sun Times he is confident in his victory.

“I don’t know of any recount that has ever affected more than 300 votes. I’m ahead by over 8000. It is a non-issue,” Horne said.

The Sun Times reached out to the Hamadeh campaign but received no new comments.

On the local level, one race has fallen into recount territory for a seat representing Legislative District 13 in the State House of Representatives. Republicans Liz Harris and Julie Willoughby are separated by less than 300 votes, a 0.2 percent difference.

The recount will begin in early December after the Secretary of State certifies the vote counts in this election. Under a court order, counties will reconfigure tabulation equipment to only count votes in the specified races. Counties must also perform logic and accuracy tests on equipment before recounting begins. The process also includes a two percent hand count audit.

However, there will be no public updates on the recount progress. Instead, Arizona law requires that the results be presented to the court in a sealed envelope, where the judge will read the results and affirm the winner. A spokesperson for Maricopa County told AZ Family that recount results should be expected near Christmas.

However, Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake’s campaign said there needs to be more transparency in this process using votes they have already taken issue with.

As reported by The Sun Times, Lake has not conceded in her close race for governor. Lake currently trails her opponent Democrat Katie Hobbs by 17,116 votes, a difference of 0.6 percent, outside the recount range. Lake is preparing for a legal battle in Arizona and is taking voter accounts of disenfranchisement on Election Day to form a case.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Abraham Hamadeh” by Abraham Hamadeh for Attorney General. Photo “Kris Mayes” by Kris Mayes for Arizona. Background Photo “Arizona State Capitol Building” by Wars. CC BY-SA 3.0.


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