Statewide Live Updates

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Most major races in Arizona were still undecided, and updated vote totals wouldn’t come out of Maricopa County until around 8 p.m. Wednesday. So no, we’re not there yet.

The deliberate counting process is proceeding according to election officials’ plan due to the tens of thousands of ballots cast at polling centers on election day and the safeguards built into the vote counting process.

Expect voting updates from other counties and updates throughout Wednesday after an Election Day marked by voting equipment issues, ink-stained conspiracies and a lawsuit to extend voting hours.

Here is a recap of Tuesday’s election events.

Follow Republic reporters’ coverage of the Arizona midterm elections here.

3:30 p.m.: Hamadeh takes the lead in the Arizona attorney general race

The results of the ballots counted so far show Republican Abe Hamadeh leading the race to become Arizona’s next attorney general as of Wednesday afternoon.

Hamadeh, a former prosecutor with the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office, has taken a tough stance on immigration.

Hamadah’s father, Jamal Hamadah, was previously deported for overstaying his visa and said his children justified his stay. He was not legally in the country when Abe Hamadeh was born.

Democrat Kris Mayes led the race.

Abortion and election integrity were also major issues in this campaign, as was the experience of legal proceedings, with each candidate making statements about the other’s background.

Mayes, a former member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, and Hamadeh have clashed with harsh rhetoric on social media and at campaign events, and the contempt between the two camps has shaped the race.

Final results may not be known until later in the week. Early results may change as votes are tallied.

—Catherine Reagor

3:10 p.m.: Thousands of ballots remain to be counted outside Maricopa County

Pinal County officials say they have about 26,000 ballots left to count after a smooth election.

That number includes early and provisional ballots, county spokesman James Daniels said.

He expects the county will need some time to complete the count.

Yuma has about 9,000 ballots to count, and Cochise said he has 12,000 ballots left.

Pima is hosting a press conference later this afternoon which may include an update on its vote count.

According to state law, officials cannot begin counting provisional ballots and advance ballots that require a signature, an additional verification process required if staff cannot initially verify the signed affidavit of an elector, up to five working days after polling day.

Arizona law gives officials until Nov. 28 to fully conclude the tally for this election.

—Sasha Hupka and Mary Jo Pitzl

1:45 p.m .: Lawsuit to give voters more time to vote rejected

Five minutes before polls close in Maricopa County, a judge on Tuesday denied an emergency request from Republicans to allow voters to continue voting for three more hours.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Tim Ryan rejected arguments that voters were denied the right to vote due to equipment problems at 30% of voting centers.

“The court has no evidence that a voter was disenfranchised,” Ryan told a hearing.

The Republican National Committee sued to keep polling places in Maricopa County open for three more hours, arguing that problems with voting materials and faulty instructions from poll workers were preventing them from voting.

RNC lawyer Kory Langhofer asked the judge to allow voters to vote provisionally until 10 p.m. to ensure their votes were counted. He also asked the judge to “delay the release of election results for the same amount of time.”

-Robert Anglen

After:Judge dismisses GOP emergency lawsuit to extend voting hours in Maricopa County

11:55 am: The ballots rejected by the machines will soon be counted

About 17,000 ballots — 7% of votes cast in person at Maricopa County polls on Tuesday — couldn’t be read by tabulators and went into blue “Door 3” bins.

“Door 3” refers to a secure ballot box at polling stations. Voters whose ballots were not accepted by malfunctioning machines were asked to place their ballots in the Gate 3 ballot box to be counted later, wait for the tabulators to be repaired, or vote in another place.

These ballots are among approximately 400,000 ballots that have yet to be counted in Maricopa County, which also includes 275,000 early ballots cast by voters on Election Day, approximately 7,000 provisional ballots cast at the polls and other advance ballots that were received on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. .

The county aims to have at least 95% of all ballots counted by the end of the week. State law gives officials until Nov. 28 to count all ballots for this election.

—Sasha Hupka

11:20 a.m.: Horne leads the school superintendent

Former superintendent and anti-bilingual education crusader Tom Horne edged out incumbent Democrat Kathy Hoffman in the race for superintendent of public instruction Wednesday morning.

Horne leads by a narrow margin, but he said he was ready to declare victory on Wednesday morning and expected the next wave of polls to be in his favor.

Republic said she was among the races too close to be called as Maricopa County continues to count ballots.

“I won’t celebrate until I get the test results,” Horne said. He also reiterated his plan to remove social-emotional learning from Arizona schools, which he said would boost test scores.

“More fun and games during school hours as part of social-emotional learning,” he said.

—Yana Kunichoff

10:40 a.m.: Prop. 209 on medical debt collection passes

Arizona voters passed Proposition 209, the Predatory Debt Collection Act, on Tuesday.

The measure was touted as a way to protect Arizonans with medical debt from bankruptcy and poverty. Opponents in the business community say it’s too broad and will have the unintended consequence of making it harder for Arizona workers to get loans.

The Associated Press called the race late Tuesday.

“While the vote count won’t be complete for several days, this feedback demonstrates that Prop 209 will become law in January,” supporters of the Healthcare Rising group said in a statement.

Supporters of the Healthcare Rising group who gathered Tuesday night at the Pemberton in downtown Phoenix were feeling optimistic as early results showed “yes” votes on Proposition 209 with a strong lead on the “no” side.

“It looks promising. It’s something Arizonans have needed for a long time,” band spokesman Morgan Tucker said shortly after 9 p.m. “No one should lose their livelihood to illness. Ever.”

— Stephanie Innes

10:10 a.m.: Update on disputed races

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s election chief, held a lead over her Republican opponent on Tuesday night after the first ballot was released just after 8 p.m.

U.S. Senator Mark Kelly maintained an early Wednesday lead over Republican Blake Masters, with a sizable advantage among early votes cast in Maricopa and Pima counties.

Adrian Fontes quickly took the lead in the race for Arizona secretary of state on Tuesday night.

Counts released an hour after polls closed showed Fontes, a Democrat, ahead of Republican rival Mark Finchem.

The results of the ballots counted so far show Democrat Kris Mayes leading Republican Abe Hamadeh in the race to become Arizona’s next attorney general. The lead, however, narrowed as election night wore on and more votes were counted.

Rachel Mitchell held a narrow lead over Julie Gunnigle early Wednesday morning after all mail-in and same-day ballots were counted in Maricopa County.

Voters faced a clear choice between two divergent approaches to criminal justice in the Maricopa County prosecutor’s race.

He pitted Republican Mitchell, the current county attorney who was appointed after Allister Adel resigned, against Gunnigle, the reform-minded Democrat, an outsider and critic of the agency.

Early results may shift as later votes are counted.

— Stacey Barchenger, Ronald J. Hansen, Mary Jo Pitzl, Tara Kavaler, and Jimmy Jenkins

9 a.m.: the countdown begins

Just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, Maricopa County election officials announced they were done counting for the night.

Their summary showed that 231,482 Election Day ballots were processed by tabulators, the vote-counting machines at polling centers across the county. More than one million ballots were counted in Arizona’s most populous county.

But there are thousands to do.

“Election Day ballots from all 223 sites have been reported!” the Elections Department said in a tweet. “Our staff are now preparing the tens of thousands of ballots cast today for signature verification in the morning. We will release more results on Wednesday evening.”

County officials resumed counting at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

After:Major races in Arizona that do not yet have a winner

Their plan is to scan and verify signatures on the first ballots cast at the polls on Tuesday. These ballots will need to be scanned, signed verified and separated from their affidavit envelope signed by a bipartisan team, then counted before they can be included in the results.

Election officials will also count so-called “Gate 3” ballots dropped into secure ballot boxes on Tuesday when voting machines rejected their ballots.

Officials have long said voters should not expect results on election night, and a final tally will take time. State law gives them until Nov. 28 to complete.

“It takes time,” Maricopa County Chief Electoral Officer Scott Jarrett said ahead of the election. “So we estimate that we will have between 98 and 99% of the ballots returned this Friday after Election Day – 72 hours.”

Meanwhile, officials from Arizona’s other 14 counties also matter.

It’s unclear how many ballots remain to be counted outside of Maricopa County. Only Yuma County, with about 8,000 remaining ballots, had reported the total number of remaining ballots to the secretary of state as of 2 a.m. Wednesday.

County election officials are not required to report how many ballots they have left to count, but the Secretary of State’s office encourages it.

—Robert Anglen, Sasha Hupka and Caitlin McGlade

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