Biden Holds Lead in Arizona, Trump Seeks Hand Count

Democrat Joe Biden held his lead in Arizona after all precincts reported in on Saturday, showing the challenger 10,377 votes ahead of President Donald Trump.

Biden received 1,672,054 votes, or 49.39 percent, compared to Trump’s 1,661,677, or 49.09 percent, according to state results, which show 100 percent of precincts reporting.

In Arizona, an automatic recount is triggered if the margin is within 0.1 percent or 200 votes, whichever is the smaller number. State law does not allow recounts to be requested. The difference between the two candidates is 0.3 percentage points.

While organizations that call races have projected a Biden victory, The Epoch Times won’t declare a winner of the election until all results are certified and any legal challenges are resolved.

Arizona
A poll worker sorts ballots inside the Maricopa County Election Department in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 5, 2020. (Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)

The Trump campaign and Republican allies have filed a series of lawsuits in battleground states, including in Arizona.

The Republican Party of Arizona filed a lawsuit (pdf) against Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and other state officials, seeking a hand count of votes by precinct, as opposed to by voting centers. The lawsuit seeks to enforce a hand count by precinct, arguing that this is required by state statute. Maricopa County instead set up “vote centers” across the county in the 2020 election, rather than voters being assigned “polling places” in their precincts, which has been the traditional practice in prior elections.

“There is a fundamental difference between sampling ‘polling centers’ and ‘precincts,’ most notable being the fact that there were only around 175 vote centers this election, but there were 748 precincts,” the Arizona GOP wrote in a release.

The Arizona GOP argued that hand-counting by precinct “would therefore potentially result in a more precise sampling of votes.”

Ballots are counted at the Maricopa County
Ballots are counted at the Maricopa County Election Department in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 5, 2020. (Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, a judge has dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking the inspection of ballots in metro Phoenix after the campaign’s lawyers acknowledged the small number of ballots at issue wouldn’t change the outcome of how the state voted for president.

The campaign had sought a postponement of Maricopa County’s certification of election results until ballots containing overvotes—instances in which people voted for more candidates than permitted—were inspected.

On Nov. 12, Trump pressed for an audit of Arizona’s vote tallies.

“From 200,000 votes to less than 10,000 votes,” Trump wrote on Twitter, presumably in reference to showing Biden’s lead in the state dwindling. “If we can audit the total votes cast, we will easily win Arizona also!”

Arizona state Rep. Kelly Townsend said there should “absolutely” be an audit and an accurate recount as soon as possible in the state, adding that voter confidence for many has been damaged.

Townsend, a Republican who serves the 16th Legislative District, said she has a “long list of things that are questionable,” and that hundreds of Arizonians have contacted her over perceived irregularities and concerns over the integrity of the state’s election process.

“We need an audit and a recount—there are too many uncertainties and until we do that, I don’t think there’s enough confidence to have a healthy election in the future,” she told The Epoch Times. “We need to reassure the people that their vote counted because right now it is chaos.”

Townsend said she has “no faith” in the state’s election process, adding that “the vote should not be certified under these circumstances.”

“The biggest issue is voter confidence,” she added. “If you don’t have voter confidence, you have big problems—and we don’t have voter confidence.”

Thousands of Arizonians have rallied peacefully across downtown Phoenix over the past week over what they see as a lack of transparency and a fraudulent and corrupt election process.

Bowen Xiao contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times