The status of the Arizona, Florida and Georgia vote counts

Election Day has passed, but four of the biggest races have yet to be called. The Arizona Senate race, the Florida gubernatorial and Senate races, and the Georgia gubernatorial race have narrow margins between Democratic and Republican candidates. 

Here is a look at where vote counts — and possible recounts — stand in the three states several days after voters across the country hit the polls:

Arizona

Votes from Election Day are still being tabulated in Arizona. 

As of Saturday morning, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was leading the race against Republican Martha McSally by around 20,000 votes. McSally had led by a narrow margin in the days after Election Day, but Sinema took the lead when ballots from heavily Democratic areas such as Maricopa County were counted.

One reason it is taking days to count the votes is that around three-quarters of Arizona’s voters send mail-in ballots, meaning that they fill out their votes at home and mail them to their county board of elections. Since some mail-in ballots arrive close to Election Day, it takes longer to count them. 

Additionally, Maricopa County and Pima County — two primarily Democratic counties — allow voters to address problems with their mail-in ballots up to five days after the election if there is a disparity between the signature on their voter registration and the signature on the ballot envelope. Last week, four county Republican parties sued to prevent counties from trying to verify signatures after polls closed.

Arizona Democrats and Republicans reached a settlement on the issue on Friday, allowing voters in rural counties as well as in Maricopa and Pima to have extra time to fix problems with their ballots. The counties have until November 14 to address the issue.

As of Saturday, it was unclear when the vote count would be completed. 

Florida

Votes are still being counted in Florida, and there is talk about a possible recount.

Florida election law dictates that a machine recount must be undertaken if the margin between two candidates is within half a percentage point. As of late Friday morning, two races in the state met that criteria. 

Republican Senate candidate and current Gov. Rick Scott is leading incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson by less than 15,000 votes, or roughly .2 percent. Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is leading Democrat Andrew Gillum by less than 40,000 votes, around .4 percent.

The ballot-counting issues are centered in Broward County and Palm Beach County, two populous counties that tend to vote Democratic. On Friday, Scott won two lawsuits — one ordering the Palm Beach County elections supervisor to submit “over-voted” and “under-voted” absentee ballots to the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board for public review of each vote before they are counted. Over-votes are ballots in which the machines read that the voter may have selected more than one candidate, and under-votes occur when the machine does not register a vote on the ballot. The other lawsuit ordered the Broward County elections supervisor to release records of voter information. 

Scott and President Trump have claimed without offering evidence that Democrats are tampering with the election.   

Unofficial vote counts are due by Saturday at noon. If the margin in both races holds, they will undergo a machine recount. If that recount finds one or both of the races to be within one quarter of a percentage point, a manual recount will be held.

Georgia

If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in Georgia, the top two candidates advance to a runoff

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp is currently leading with 50.3 percent of the vote, above the threshold for a runoff. However, Democrat Stacey Abrams argues that not all votes have been counted, and mobilized a campaign to reach out to voters who used provisional ballots to ensure their votes were counted. 

Kemp’s camp argues there are not enough ballots left uncounted to narrow the margin and ensure a December 4 recount would take place. 

Vote totals must be certified in all Georgia counties by Tuesday evening.

Accusations of voter suppression cast a shadow over the vote tabulation. Kemp was Georgia secretary of state until his resignation on Thursday. During his tenure, his office removed 1.5 million voters from the rolls. His office also suspended the registration of 53,000 voters shortly before the election, 70 percent of whom were black, although a judge ruled that these voters could cast a ballot on election day. Democrats argue that Kemp’s seeming victory is due to tactics of voter suppression.

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Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-status-of-the-arizona-florida-and-georgia-vote-counts/

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