Biden’s Lead in Arizona Falls to 19,000 Votes as Trump Campaign Files Lawsuit
On Friday morning, former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead in the battleground state of Arizona stood at 47,000 votes. By Friday night, it had narrowed to 31,000. On Saturday night, it had been whittled down to 18,713 or 0.62 percent of the vote.
According to historian and retired professor Larry Schweikart, there are roughly 200,000 votes left to count. In the tweet below, Schweikart writes that this is “Quite doable, esp at rates they’ve been coming in for Trump.”
He added, “[Baris] Says @govdougducey has done a stellar job in making sure we have a firm count on how many ballots are . . . outstanding, so they can’t keep coming up with “more ballots.” Says Trump should win AZ by 6,000.”
*contd . . . outstanding, so they can't keep coming up with "more ballots." Says Trump should win AZ by 6,000.
*Says GA will def be recounted, but now with machine issues may also be recanvassed. Said Kemp did very little to get the "extra ballots" under control.
— Larry Schweikart (@LarrySchweikart) November 8, 2020
Because media outlets report data at different times of the day, and they tell us only one or two of the data points we need, ascertaining what’s happening can be confusing.
For example, CNN’s Anderson Cooper told viewers on Friday morning that Biden and Trump were apart by 47,000 votes. But we don’t know what percentage of votes had been counted.
CNN data posted at 11:53 am et on Friday, however, provides a more complete picture. We see the difference has narrowed to 43,779 votes which is a margin of 1.4 percent, and that 93 percent of the vote has been counted.
On Sunday morning, RealClearPolitics shows the gap has tightened to 18,713, a margin of 0.62 percent and 96 percent of the vote has been counted.
Comparing CNN’s 11:53 am Friday data showing 43,779 to RCP’s Sunday data, we see that 3 percent of the vote has netted 25,066 votes.
Wherever the final votes are coming from, at least the 3 percent counted between 11:53 am on Friday and Sunday morning, they are favoring Trump. The race is moving in his direction. If the remaining votes are coming from these same areas, the trend is likely to continue to favor Trump, and we can expect the final 4 percent of the vote to yield even more votes for him.
This is where Baris’s estimate that Trump will win the state by 6,000 votes comes from.
However, if the remaining votes are coming from more urban parts of the state, the results would likely favor Biden. We have no way of knowing. Perhaps Baris does.
If Trump does not find all of the votes he needs, there is still a path forward for him. A recount is one possibility, but considering the software glitch problems that have surfaced in Michigan, perhaps these issues should be addressed first.
Townhall’s Bronson Stocking wrote on Saturday that not only might we see a recount in the state, but “perhaps a recanvasing following issues surrounding voting machines and other irregularities.”
Schweichart explains that a re-canvass is “a review/test of all machines for error. A recount may get votes, but it recounts fraud votes.”
Because software glitches have caused Trump votes to be converted to Biden votes in at least one Michigan county, I think this is absolutely necessary.
State laws regarding recounts vary widely and Arizona’s look to be among the most stringent. In Arizona:
A recount of the vote is required when the canvass of returns in a primary or general election shows that the margin between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes for a particular office is less than or equal to the lesser of the following:
1. One-tenth of one percent of the number of votes cast for both such candidates or upon such measures or proposals.
(the rest of the law addresses initiatives and local elections.)
Even with a threshold of “one-tenth of one percent,” I have no doubt if the margin dropped below one-half of one percent, which is the norm in the majority of states, that Trump’s legal team would find a way to force a recount.
Currently, they are apart by 0.62 percent. The important consideration is that the trend is moving in President Trump’s direction.
Finally, Trump’s legal team filed a lawsuit in Arizona on Saturday alleging that election officials in Maricopa County “incorrectly rejected votes cast by in-person voters on Election Day.”
The lawsuit stated that “numerous voters” had trouble submitting:
Their completed ballot to an electronic tabulation machine… [They] were alerted by these devices to a facial irregularity in their ballot—frequently an ostensible “overvote”—but were induced by poll workers to override the tabulator’s rejection of the ballot in the good faith belief that their vote would be duly registered and tabulated. In actuality, overriding the electronic tabulator’s alert automatically disqualifies the putative “overvotes” without additional review or adjudication.
Arizona law requires that putative overvotes be subjected to further review in an effort to discern the actual intent of the voter. While this safeguard was afforded to putative overvotes cast on early ballots and on Election Day ballots that poll workers properly segregated in a separate repository, potentially thousands of voters across Maricopa County have been disenfranchised by systematic improper tabulator overrides.
Trump 2020 campaign general counsel Matt Morgan issued a statement on Saturday which read: “Poll workers struggled to operate the new voting machines in Maricopa County, and improperly pressed and told voters to press a green button to override significant errors. The result is that the voting machines disregarded votes cast by voters in person on Election Day in Maricopa County.”
All of this is to say that it’s not over for Trump in Arizona.