Maricopa County officials provide updates on ballot counting efforts

On the afternoon of Nov. 10, Maricopa County election officials gave an update on their ballot processing and tabulation.

A tranche of results, expected to be a little bit more than the 62,000 votes results from the night of Nov. 9, is expected around 8:00 p.m., but it won't include those ballots from Election Day. Officials say they will likely start announcing those numbers, beginning on Nov. 11.

Also Read: 2022 Arizona Election: Live updates, results as they come in

Results expected to take longer to fully announce

So far, officials say over 1.1 million votes have been counted and recorded, but there are still about 400,000 to 410,000 more to be counted.

On Nov. 7, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said they hoped to have about 95% of the ballots counted by Nov. 11. However, officials now say the majority won’t be done being counted until after the Veterans Day weekend.

Read More: Why is it taking so long for Arizona to count ballots?

Questions remain over speed of ballot counting efforts

As vote counting efforts continue, some are complaining about the time it is taking to count these ballots, and comparing Arizona to other states.

However, it is important to note that according to officials, Maricopa County is the 2nd largest voting jurisdiction in the country, just behind California's Los Angeles County. In addition, many of the races have a very close margin, so all the ballots must be counted in order to have a clear winner.

"Utah is currently at 61% tabulation. Nevada is currently at 83%. Oregon is at 73%. Washington at 66%, and California at 46%, so Arizona and Maricopa County is pretty much consistent with that," said Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer.

Another issue is Arizona law, which allows voters to drop off early voting ballots on Election Day. This is something other states do not allow. In Maricopa County, officials say a historic 290,000 early ballots were dropped off on Election Day, which is 70% more compared to the 2020 election. The ballots can’t just run through the tabulators, as they need to be signature verified, then processed by a bi-partisan board before they can be counted.

During the news conference, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates talked about the work election workers have been doing.

"I want to be very clear about the work that is being done. They are ready working 14 to 18 hours a day. They are making a great commitment," said Gates.

Gates also said election workers continue to face threats.

"That threat level is continuing, and that is now a part of life for me and my colleagues, and it shouldn’t be," said Gates. "That is absolutely unacceptable. No one should be the subject of death threats, but particularly not those who are simply trying to keep our democracy afloat, and count the votes."

National, international reporters gather in Phoenix

The ballot counting efforts have attracted media attention worldwide.

"Many people know the U.S. really well. They're really interested in your country," said Viviane Manz, a reporter for Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF), a television station in Switzerland. "I've covered different swing states. I was in Pennsylvania, and now here in Arizona. It's important for us because here, it's not decided yet."

Manz said in Switzerland, people are fascinated on the current state of American politics, because Americans seem to be more focused now on the voting process, rather than the issues at stake.

"Switzerland is very big in democracy," said Manz. "We vote not only on Parliament, but on topics a lot, but it's never an issue to talk about the voting process. People just assume that it's correct. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. If you lose, you have another shot next time."

Manz also said Switzerland is worried about America.

"This is kind of irritating to many people in Switzerland, and I think many people are concerned that democracy in the U.S. is at stake," said Manz.

Results for Arizona statewide races