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Here’s how a recount in Arizona’s gubernatorial race might play out

Late Monday night, one week after Election Day, numerous news outlets, including the Fox News Decision Desk, called the Arizona gubernatorial race for the Democratic nominee, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. 

But with 2% of the vote still left to tally, an automatic recount could still be triggered under a new Arizona law if the race tightens.

Following the 2020 presidential election, when President Biden won Arizona by 10,457 votes — a narrow 0.3% margin — Arizona passed a new voting law that would trigger an automatic recount if a candidate wins by a margin of less than 0.5%, widening the recount threshold from its previous standard of 0.1%.

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As of Tuesday afternoon, Hobbs was around three-quarters of a percentage point ahead of her GOP opponent, Kari Lake, winning just over 50% of the vote. With approximately more than 98% of the vote counted, Hobbs’ lead could possibly fall below the half-point margin needed to trigger an automatic recount as final votes come in. 

If a recount is triggered, the process will not be initiated until Dec. 5, when the secretary of state’s office begins its canvass, Maricopa County Elections Director Scott Jarrett said ahead of the Nov. 8 elections. 

The canvass certifies the election results and includes vote totals from early, regular and provisional ballots, per the Arizona secretary of state’s website. In this case, Arizona voters could be waiting as late as Dec. 30 before their next governor is announced, Jarrett said.

“A recount is conducted by running paper ballots from the applicable race through the designated electronic voting equipment,” according to the Arizona secretary of state’s website. “Once the results have been tabulated, and if the political parties request it, a hand count audit may occur.”

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Lake has yet to concede to Hobbs and posted on Twitter late Monday night that “Arizonans know BS when they see it,” after the race was called.

The former TV news anchor trails Hobbs by roughly 19,000 votes. To push herself into recount territory, Lake needs another 6,000 or so votes, narrowing Hobbs’ margin of victory to about 12,000 to 13,000 votes.

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