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Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell: Close election results could take days to call

Posted: 7:33 PM, Nov 08, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-10 01:21:28Z
Purcell: Close election results could take days

The top election official in Arizona's most populous county says results for close races could take days to call due to the volume of early ballots. 

Watch Gov. Doug Ducey weigh in on the possible delay in the player above.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell's office said 1.1 million early ballots had been returned as of Election Day, with another 150,000 expected to have been turned in at polling places throughout the day. In 2012, a little more than 960,000 early ballots were processed by the recorder's office.

CLICK EACH SECTION FOR MORE:

LIVE VIDEO    |    FULL RESULTS    |    PRESIDENTIAL RACE

As of Wednesday afternoon, there was a turnout of 55.4% of voters in Maricopa County. Back in 2012, the turnout was 76.5% and in 2008 it was 79.7%. 

The Arizona Secretary of State's Office said in Maricopa County, there were 470,000 total ballots. Of those, 415,000 were early ballots, and 55,000 were provisional ballots. 

As of Wednesday, there were 627,725 early and provisional ballots left to be counted across all of Arizona's counties. 

SOME RACES MAY BE TOO CLOSE TO CALL IF THERE'S A SMALL ENOUGH GAP

As of Tuesday morning, Purcell said election workers had counted roughly 800,000 ballots since they started counting November 1, a rate of roughly 100,000 ballots per day.

More than 200,000 were still to be counted at the start of Tuesday. Coupled with the ballots turned in at the polls, that leaves around 350,000 uncounted ballots at the end of the day.

The county recorder's office stopped counting early ballots around 4 p.m. as officials said the machines used to count them are used on election night to generate numbers for election returns.

Democrat Adrian Fontes, who is running against Purcell, expressed frustration with the scope of the uncounted ballots and says her office was not ready.

"[Purcell] is not a fit leader for this office. Whether it’s training poll workers or making sure the public gets the right information. At the end of the day, she’s a nice lady, but nice doesn’t run one of the most important offices in our democracy.”

Purcell said there was nothing unusual about the situation, saying races are routinely not called on election night.

For full election results, click here.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.