Officials say new state law will make automatic recounts more likely in Arizona
Maricopa County elections officials are preparing for possible recounts after Senate Bill 1008 was signed into law earlier this year.
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Maricopa County Elections Department is preparing for possible automatic recounts in the upcoming midterm election after state legislators passed Senate Bill 1008 earlier this year.
The new law increases the automatic recount threshold from one-tenth of 1%, to half of 1%. That means if there are 3 million ballots in a statewide contest, a difference of 15,000 votes between the top two vote-getters would trigger a recount.
Megan Gilbertson, a spokesperson for the department, says if Senate Bill 1008 had been in effect during the 2020 election, there would have been five automatic recounts. That includes the presidential race and county recorder. She says it now applies to every contest on the ballot, except some local races and school districts.
If there’s a recount in the upcoming midterms, it would not happen until the Secretary of State’s office finishes the canvassing process, Gilbertson says. Ultimately a judge would also have to weigh in and Gilbertson said the recount would mean county elections officials would likely work through December.
“First all of the counties would need to do a logic and accuracy test,” she added. “To reprogram that equipment to be able to only tabulate the contests that triggered that automatic recount. And then we would open all the ballot boxes and run them through the tabulation equipment.”
Gilbertson says the county bought nine additional tabulators in anticipation of the new law to make sure they can count ballots as fast as possible.
With Election Day on Tuesday, what should voters do now? Gilbertson suggests turning in your ballot as soon as possible. “So for us, if we receive your early ballot by this Saturday it’s likely it will be included in that 8 p.m. results file on election night. And then throughout election night we’ll be uploading results from the Election Day votes.”
Read more about the law here.
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