Recount Affirming Dem’s Win In Tight Arizona AG Race Adds 600+ Votes To Count

A statewide recount added more than 600 votes to the total tally in the close race for Arizona attorney general, adding fuel to Republican concerns about election integrity.

The findings, announced Thursday during a Maricopa County Superior Court hearing following a one-week delay, affirmed victory for Democratic candidate Kris Mayes over GOP rival Abe Hamadeh, but by a smaller margin than the 511-vote gap in the original count, according to KTAR News.

Mayes released a statement thanking voters and her team. “I’m excited and ready to get to work as your next Attorney General and vow to be your Lawyer for the People,” she added.

My statement on the recount results. pic.twitter.com/Fo1vFVEkXo

— Kris Mayes (@krismayes) December 29, 2022

The recount added 623 votes to the final tally. Hamadeh picked up 427 votes while Mayes netted 196 votes, shrinking the gap between them to a mere 280 votes out of roughly 2.5 million, a shift the Republican called a “shockingly high discrepancy.” Hamadeh said his legal team will be assessing its “options to make sure every vote is counted.”

The results of the recount show that my opponent’s lead has been cut by nearly half from 511 to 280 votes. A shockingly high discrepancy. Again, a recount just puts the ballots in the machine again.

My legal team will be assessing our options to make sure every vote is counted.

— Abe Hamadeh (@AbrahamHamadeh) December 29, 2022

Hamadeh, like many other Republican candidates facing defeat in November, trained fire on Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the top election official in the state who defeated Republican candidate Kari Lake in the race to become Arizona’s next governor.

“Katie Hobbs and SOS Office abused our courts and made a mockery of the justice system. They knew the results of the recount was going to show a LARGE discrepancy due to tabulation errors and fought against our election contest knowing this. They deceived the courts,” Hamadeh alleged in another tweet.

Katie Hobbs and SOS Office abused our courts and made a mockery of the justice system.

They knew the results of the recount was going to show a LARGE discrepancy due to tabulation errors and fought against our election contest knowing this.

They deceived the courts.

— Abe Hamadeh (@AbrahamHamadeh) December 29, 2022

State officials defended the election process and pledged to consider reforms where any weaknesses are identified.

The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office put out a press release saying “discrepancies between the original tally and recount results occur and are not unexpected.” State Elections Director Kori Lorick said election officials “will be reviewing the recount process to identify meaningful process improvements as part of our continued commitment to getting it right.”

Multiple Republicans in statewide contests have gone to court challenging their election losses, including Lake and GOP secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem. Judges dismissed their cases, but Lake and Finchem each filed a notice of appeal.

Hamadeh filed a lawsuit this month claiming there were thousands of erroneously counted votes and that election worker misconduct led to voter disenfranchisement, according to the Arizona Mirror. Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen rejected the case last week, saying, “The bottom line is you just haven’t proven your case, you haven’t met the burden.”

Automatic recount results for two other races were announced on Thursday. Republican Tom Horne won the race for superintendent of public instruction and Republican Liz Harris won the contest for state House District 13.

Arizona’s election winners are set to be inaugurated next week on January 5.

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