After a ballot drop of approximately 62,000 early ballots in Maricopa County on Thursday, as well as ballot drops from smaller counties, Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs is leading Republican Kari Lake by nearly 13,000 votes, and Democratic. Sen. Mark Kelly is leading Republican senatorial candidate Blake Masters by roughly 95,000 votes.
However, the race could potentially swing back in favor of Republicans in these two races due to the number of ballots, and type of ballots left to count.
In Maricopa County alone, there are an estimated 400-410,000 ballots left. On Thursday morning, the county announced that they are processing ballots that were dropped off on Election Day, which is an estimated 290,000 ballots.
We are processing all of the ballots that were dropped off on Election Day! A team of two people from different political parties separate the ballots from the envelopes and prepare them for tabulation. You can watch the process live here: https://t.co/3xsiCA1dkx pic.twitter.com/pnDWU5Cgpj
— Maricopa County Elections Department (@MaricopaVote) November 10, 2022
In addition, the county said in an email on Wednesday night that there are an estimated 17,000 in-person Election Day ballots left “to be counted”, 143,000 early ballots “left to verify”, and about 8,000 provisional ballots “left to research.”
“Estimated Election Day ballots to be counted: 17,000
Estimated early ballots left to process and tabulate: 239,116
Estimated number of early ballots left to verify: 143,779
Estimated provisional ballots left to research: 7,885”
They estimate 400-410k total
— Cameron Arcand (@cameron_arcand) November 10, 2022
The Arizona-based Republican data analytics firm Data Orbital said that Wednesday night’s batch was expected to be bad for Republicans, and the coming batch of Election Day drop-offs will likely favor Republican candidates.
MARICOPA BALLOTS REMAINING UPDATE: ~400k total ballots remaining. 275k were dropped off on Election Day. 125k were mailed back from Saturday to Tuesday.
Election Day drop off batch likely strongly favor Republicans & the ballots that were mailed back will lean Republican.
— Data Orbital (@Data_Orbital) November 9, 2022
Maricopa County – 62,034 Ballots Reported
Kari Lake – 28,058 (45.9%)
Katie Hobbs – 33,018 (54.1%)
~360,000 Ballots left in Maricopa
Reminder(!!!) – This drop is only about 15% of the total ballots remaining and the batch we expected to be the worst for the Republicans. #AZ
— Data Orbital (@Data_Orbital) November 10, 2022
Lake also went on “Louder with Crowder” to express her optimism over Election Day ballot drop-offs:
Here's Kari Lake predicting she'll win 60-80% of "mail ballots hand delivered on E Day."
These ballots make up majority of what's uncounted in AZ. These ballots skewed in Trump's favor in '20–expectation is same for '22.
Q: How much do other ballots pad Dems' current leads? https://t.co/dR9n7sS93S
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) November 10, 2022
As ABC15 Arizona’s Garrett Archer tweeted on Thursday morning, there will also be smaller ballot drops from other counties, but Maricopa and Pima counties will be the ones to watch.
Rural counties will come throughout the day. Maricopa and Pima Will do larger drops sometime this evening. As we get closer, we should get a time from them. https://t.co/ZPvhU5ssJK
— The AZ – abc15 – Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) November 10, 2022
The process in Maricopa County and Arizona as a whole takes longer because of the number of people that drop their mail-in ballots off in person on Election Day, according to the Associated Press. Depending on the size of the batch that is posted on Thursday night, it could be a few more days before any call can be made in Arizona. Almost all of the major statewide races are close at the moment, so it would be too early to make a sound projection on who will win, especially if a race ends up within the 0.5 percent recount margin.