Arizona is one of the states at the heart of Tuesday’s 2020 presidential election and the early call to give the state to former Vice President Joe Biden by Fox News Tuesday night infuriated President Donald Trump and the White House.
The decision was also criticized by many voters, some who suggested that decision to do so was biased and harmed the voters of the state. As of Wednesday morning there were still some hundreds of thousands of ballots to be counted in Arizona, according to an Arizona Republic survey. However, some suspect that number to be much higher because the Republic could only get figures from nine of Arizona’s 15 counties. Moreover, “provisional ballots are given to voters who can’t verify their ID at the polls or who received a mail-in ballot but decided to vote in person. Election officials must verify a voter’s registration before the provisional ballot is counted,” according to Arizona Central.
Arizona isn’t the only concern. Trump’s lawyers are going to force a recount in Wisconsin, which they believe has some serious discrepancies in the voter tally and was called for former Vice President Joe Biden with only a one-percent difference in the vote.
White House officials made sure to address the concerns of calling the state early on Wednesday, noting that by their calculations they expect to win the Western state with possibly more than 30,000 votes once the final tally is in.
The state carries 11 electoral votes and if Trump takes Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, then that calculation – along with the other states Trump has already won -will set him over the finish line.
Republican Rep. Andy Biggs, of Arizona, told me Wednesday in a phone call that the votes are far from being counted in his home state and pointed to the more than 100,000 votes that still need to be counted in Trump-friendly Maricopa County alone, where officials say they can’t yet estimate the number of early ballots dropped at polling places. Those ballots still need be counted and “could increase the number of ballots left to count by another 100,000 to 200,000 on top of the Republic’s 400,000 estimate.” As of 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Trump was only behind Biden by roughly 93,000 but there were still almost 70,000 votes that hadn’t been counted.
The Republican Chairman of the Freedom Caucus also referenced his own primary election several years ago when the polls had him behind his challenger and in fact, several said he had lost. He didn’t, of course, and came back to win the primary in the final stretch after the votes were tallied. Biggs said when the announcement came early that he was going to lose, a number of people, including his opponent, called on him to concede the race.
“I didn’t concede, of course, and neither should President Trump,” said Biggs. “We need to wait until all the votes are counted. It’s all going in the right direction. I believe when it’s all said and done we’re going to win this thing.”
And waiting for the final results before calling the state is a must. On Wednesday morning there was a data error about the percentage of the vote counted in Arizona. At first, the percentage of the vote tallied appeared higher but allegedly the error was caught by Edison Research data. It was identified by New York Times editor Patrick LaForge, and it appeared that 98% of the vote had been counted when in reality it was only 86% had actually been tabulated and counted.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there are still more than 400,000 votes left to be counted and the number of ballots dividing the two candidates is shrinking.
In Pennsylvania the White House believes the President could win on the conservative side by 40,000 votes. White House officials said Wednesday that there are still many Republican votes left to be counted in the counties of Cumberland, Luzerne, Franklin, Beaver and West Moreland County. A realistic count would have Trump winning Pennsylvannia by 40,000 votes.
There are lawyers on the ground to ensure the sanctity of the vote and to make sure only the legitimate ballots are counted, a Trump campaign official said.
You can follow Sara A Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC
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