Officials continue counting votes in Arizona

PHOENIX (NewsNation Now) — Several states are still counting every vote—that includes the state of Arizona where new information is expected Thursday night from election officials.

The Associated Press called the race for Joe Biden in Arizona but election officials are still counting outstanding votes.

Nearly 100 protesters gathered outside the Maricopa County Board of Elections—supporters of President Trump eager to see what happens. Election workers resumed the ballot counting at 7:30 a.m. local time Thursday after processing about 140,000 ballots on Wednesday. Those included more votes for Trump than Biden, narrowing the lead of the former vice president to around 70,000 votes in Maricopa County.

About 300,000 ballots still need to be tabulated and election officials are stressing the meticulous process and the handling of hundreds of thousands of mail in and drop off ballots. It is time consuming but there is transparency; anyone can view the department’s various live stream cameras which are up around the clock and the process involves observers from both parties who sometimes work together in resolving ballot issues.

“Instead of filling in the oval, the voter puts circles or x’s to fill in their vote instead of filling in the oval, then that’s an example of what they are looking at and so there is a Democrat and Republican looking at it together, working together to determine those,” said Erika Flores, Maricopa County Elections Department.

“We are winning this, stay vigilant, stay awake, do not let this election be stolen,” said Kelli Ward, Chair Arizona Republican Party.

Earlier Thursday, the state’s Republican party chair expressed confidence that the remaining votes will favor President Trump. Afterward, supporters returned to the Maricopa County elections department to monitor the vote count outside the room where it happens.

The on-going protest activity prompted county officials to create a “freedom of speech zone” where they put up fencing, allowing poll workers to easily enter and exit without any fear of intimidation. Sheriff’s deputies are also standing by to escort poll workers if needed. The next batch of ballot results are not expected to be released until Friday morning at the earliest.

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