Newest Arizona Votes Equally Split as Trump Cuts Biden’s Lead in Half – Newsweek

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden‘s lead in Arizona narrowed on Friday as election officials reported results that split between Biden and President Donald Trump.

The results reported Friday morning appeared to be evenly divided between the president and former vice president, according to The Arizona Republic. However, tallies announced later in the day from Mojave County and Navajo County showed that a greater percentage of votes from those areas was going to Trump, the paper reported.

Results released Friday afternoon from Pinal County also showed gains for Trump, narrowing Biden’s lead to just over 39,000 votes in the state.

Additional results from Maricopa County were expected to be announced at 7 p.m. local time.

Biden led the state earlier this week by more than 79,000 votes. His lead shrunk as results continued coming in over the past few days, keeping the state a battleground with no clear victor by Friday evening.

Ballot counting protest in Arizona
New signs are put up with information about the ballot counting live stream during a protest against the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 6 in Phoenix. Election results reported throughout the day on Friday showed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s lead narrowing throughout the state.
Courtney Pedroza/Getty

Both candidates are hoping to win Arizona’s 11 electoral votes. While Biden was in the lead nationally regarding automatically triggered recounts in terms of both the popular vote and the Electoral College by Friday evening, neither candidate had the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the presidency. Four other states—Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania—were also up for grabs three days after Election Day.

Despite the influx of new votes for Trump, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told KTAR-FM on Friday afternoon that the chances of an automatic statewide recount were slim. Between 250,000 and 270,000 ballots were still uncounted as of Friday morning, Hobbs said. About half of those were in Maricopa County, Hobbs added. Trump won the county, which is Arizona’s most populous, by just shy of 3 percent in 2016. Biden was ahead in the county by more than 60,000 votes as of Friday morning, according to Maricopa County’s election results database.

Hobbs explained to KTAR-FM that the state’s election laws require the margin between Biden and Trump to be either 200 votes or a tenth of 1 percent—whichever is smaller—in order to automatically trigger a recount.

“There is no legal basis where somebody could go to court and demand a recount that falls outside of those margins,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said she expected most votes to be counted by the end of this weekend and said provisional ballots would likely be finalized next week.

If Biden is declared the victor in Arizona, it would be only the second time a Democratic presidential candidate has flipped the state in the past 50 years, with former President Bill Clinton serving as the most recent candidate to do so in 1996.

Newsweek reached out to Biden’s campaign for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

This story has been updated with additional information and background.

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