Maricopa County starts hand-count audit, as 400,000 ballots still remain uncounted

The Arizona county experienced ballot tabulation machine issues on Election Day.

Updated: November 10, 2022 - 12:08pm

Arizona's Maricopa County has begun its hand-count audit of midterm ballots – with roughly 400,000 of them still uncounted, as the state's Senate race, which will help determine whether Democrats or Republicans next control the Senate, remains undecided.  

The county started the audit Wednesday night with the chairpersons for the Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian parties randomly picking the races and ballots that will be reviewed Saturday as a sample by the hand count audit boards.

"This is an important step in ensuring the accuracy of the 2022 General Election results," county Elections Department tweeted Wednesday night.

The hand count audit's purpose "is to compare the results of the original count to the hand count to assure that the tabulation equipment is working properly and accurately counting votes," according to the Arizona secretary of state's website.

The audit began after about 20% of polling locations in Maricopa County had issues with ballot tabulation machines on Election Day.

Of the estimated 250,000 in-person ballots that were cast on Election Day, 7%, or about 17,000 ballots, needed to be counted separately after being placed in a secure slot on the tabulation machines because of the electronic errors.

More than 1.1 million ballots in the county have already been counted as the Arizona races for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and Senate have yet to be called.

The Maricopa County Recorder's Office told Just the News on Thursday that the audit is standard procedure for every election in Arizona, and is done to verify the numbers produced by the ballot tabulators.