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Pima County supervisors certify canvass of election results
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Pima County supervisors certify canvass of election results

  • Pima County election workers processing early ballots, Nov. 4, 2022.
    Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.comPima County election workers processing early ballots, Nov. 4, 2022.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 on Tuesday to certify the canvass of results of the 2022 election.

The board met in a virtual meeting to certify the vote count from Pima County. Statewide, votes continued to be counted into yesterday, almost two weeks since Election Day.

A very close race of Arizona attorney general hung in the balance of the final tally of ballots in Maricopa County, and will be recounted under state law.

Democrat Kris Mayes beat Republican Abe Hamadeh for the attorney general's seat by just 510 votes — the closest-ever margin in an election for that state office. Any margin of 0.5% or less triggers an automatic recount of the race.

All Arizona counties are required to vote to approve the canvass — the formal report of the election results in each jurisdiction — before Nov. 28, which is next Monday. The secretary of state will canvass the statewide election results on Dec. 5. The recount process cannot begin until after all of the counties and then the state carry out the canvass.

Because the current secretary of state is Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, Supervisor Steve Christy — the lone Republican on the board — opposed the election results, saying she should have “recused” herself.

“Hobbs, I believe, is acting in direct conflict with state statutes and regulations and has a substantial interest in the outcome of this election,” Christy said.

He also accused Pima County Recorder Gabriella Cázares-Kelly of “actively electioneering on behalf of Raúl Grijalva and other Democrat candidates,” Christy said.

Christy has often voted against canvassing election results — including the refusing to certify the vote counts in 2020, when the former auto dealer was himself on the ballot and re-elected.

Under Arizona law, the canvass is a ministerial act, without any discretion — the supervisors are required to certify the count and forward it to the state.

Supervisor Rex Scott spoke at the meeting to assure voters that “our elections in Pima County in November and August were conducted safely, securely, fairly and efficiently.”

Scott also congratulated and thanked Constance Hargrove, the county elections director, by name.

Pima County reported all that they had received all ballots on Friday and were reporting 100% of the results shortly after.

In the county, more than 400,000 votes were cast in this general election. With almost 640,000 registered voters in Pima County, voter turnout was at about 63%, according to the local results from the Arizona secretary of state.

Statewide, about 2.6 million ballots were cast, with about a 63% voter turnout as well. Arizona has about 4.1 million registered voters, according to the Arizona secretary of state office.

This year’s general elections featured close races for important offices, with Democrats winning many of those races though Republicans picked up important seats.

Hobbs became the first Democrat to win the Arizona governor race since 2009, with a lead of about 17,000 votes. Hobbs beat the Trump-endorsed Kari Lake.

Republican Tom Horne won the race to become Arizona school superintendent and ousted incumbent Democrat Kathy Hoffman by about 9,000 votes. With a margin of about 0.4%, the race will also likely require a recount.

Republican Juan Ciscomani also won his race for Arizona’s CD 6 congressional seat, flipping the seat red and helping the GOP shift the House of Representatives to their control.

Ciscomani beat Democratic candidate Kirsten Engel by about 5,000 votes. Engel conceded the race last Monday.

Democrats won other key state and federal seats. Democrat Adrian Fontes beat election denier and GOP candidate Mark Finchem with a wide margin of about 120,000 vote to become the incoming secretary of state.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly helped his party keep a slim majority in the U.S. Senate when he beat Peter Thiel-darling Blake Masters in one of the more decisive victories. Kelly beat masters with about 126,000 votes.

Bennito L. Kelty is TucsonSentinel.com’s IDEA reporter, focusing on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access stories, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.

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