PHOENIX - It appears that some Arizona races in this year's election are headed towards a recount.
This year, a record 2.5 million Arizonans, voted in the midterm elections, and two statewide races - Superintendent of Public Instruction and Attorney General - seem ripe for recounts. This year's election took place after a new state law was passed that expands the threshold for recounts to a level five times greater than before.
"I can’t remember the last time we saw a race this close where every ballot counts," said Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo.
Supervisor Gallardo says the Maricopa County election system has been scrutinized more than most, and passed with flying colors. He calls a recount a waste of time and money.
"We have proven, over and over again over the last two years, that our election system is safe, secure and accurate. We’ve seen it with [the CyberNinja recount], we've seen it with multiple recounts, with both Republicans and Democratic observers being involved. Our election system works," said Supervisor Gallardo.
The counties should be finished counting ballots sometime this weekend, and they will be certified in the beginning of next month. Then, the repeat, retest and re-tally might begin.
During a recount, the state and counties, retest the tabulators. Votes are recounted, and watched by observers from both political partie. A random sample is also hand-counted. Then, the results are unsealed in court by a judge.
It is a time-consuming process that Arizonans may want to get used to. After nearly two weeks spent on the first count, a recount could take a month or more, and maybe reach into 2023.
"We may not know the result of these retally until 2023. That’s how long it’s gonna take us to do it." said Supervisor Gallardo.
The cost of a recount is hard to pin down, but Supervisor Gallardo says it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Republicans in favor of the recount say the state is flush with COVID cash, and that the money spent should not be an issue.