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Protesters gather outside of Maricopa County elections office as counting continues

Republican supporters stand outside the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office to protest what they allege is an unfair election in Phoenix, Nov. 12, 2022. Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly urged Arizonans to let go of “conspiracies of the past” on Saturday, calling for unity a day after he won re-election to a crucial Senate seat. (AP Photo/Alberto Mariani) Alberto Mariani/AP

Protesters gather outside of Maricopa County elections office as counting continues

Misty Severi

November 12, 04:08 PM November 12, 04:08 PM

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Protesters have gathered outside of the elections office in Maricopa County, Arizona, on Saturday to protest the slow counting of the ballots that were cast during the midterm elections Tuesday.

Approximately three dozen Republican protesters carried signs that referred to gubernatorial candidates Kari Lake (R-AZ) and Katie Hobbs (D-AZ) that read, “Lake won,” “Hobbs is a cheat,” and “count the vote,” according to a local reporter on the scene.

MARICOPA COUNTY OFFICIAL BLASTS KARI LAKE’S ‘OFFENSIVE’ QUESTIONING OF VOTE COUNT

The protesters are angry at the speed at which votes were being counted, with between 60,000 and 80,000 votes being counted in a day, and the accuracy of the vote tallies. Around 275,000 uncounted ballots are left in Maricopa County, said Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, meaning the results should be finalized sometime next week.

The Republican National Committee also condemned the slow speed in the county and called for changes in the process.

“This election has exposed deep flaws in Maricopa County’s election administration. Arizona deserves better — transparency, certainty, efficiency — and most importantly, an accurate and prompt announcement of election results that can be accepted by all voters,” Republican spokeswoman Harmeet Dhillon said.

Dhillon said: “The RNC and the Republican Party of Arizona demand that around-the-clock shifts of ballot processing be pressed into service until all votes have been counted, accompanied by complete transparency and regular, accurate public updates. We will not hesitate to take legal action if necessary to protect Arizona voters’ right to have their ballots counted.”

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According to the most recent tally, Hobbs is leading Lake in the gubernatorial race by approximately 32,000 votes, with Hobbs securing 50.7% compared to Lake’s 49.3% as of Friday night. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) was declared the victor overnight, defeating opponent Blake Masters (R-AZ) with 51.8% compared to Masters’s 46.1%. Despite the declaration, Masters has not conceded, electing to wait until the votes are fully counted instead.

“If, at the end, Senator Kelly has more of them than I do, then I will congratulate him on a hard-fought victory. But voters decide, not the media; let’s count the votes,” Masters tweeted Saturday.

On Tuesday, several tabulation machines in Maricopa County did not function properly, increasing scrutiny over the election process in Arizona’s most populous county.

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