Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason on Thursday revealed that Mayes defeated Hamadeh by about 280 votes out of about 2.5 million votes cast. The recount shows that Hamadeh cut into Mayes’s vote-total by about 200 votes; after Nov. 8 election data had shown that Mayes led by about 511 votes.
Hamadeh lawyer Tim La Sota declined to comment to reporters after the court hearing. Neither Mayes nor Hamadeh were in court during the hearing.
In response to the ruling, Hamadeh said his legal team would likely take action. Several weeks ago, Hamadeh sued Mayes and a number of state officials claiming there were procedural and tabulation errors that harmed his chances before a judge tossed it last week in Mohave County.
“The results of the recount show that my opponent’s lead has been cut by nearly half from 511 to 280 votes. A shockingly high discrepancy,” he wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “Again, a recount just puts the ballots in the machine again. My legal team will be assessing our options to make sure every vote is counted.”
In a statement, Mayes said that she is “excited and ready to get to work as your next attorney general.” Previously, Mayes said she believed that a “state-mandated recount won’t change the outcome of this election, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work as your next Attorney General, being a lawyer for the people.”
My statement on the recount results. pic.twitter.com/Fo1vFVEkXo
— Kris Mayes (@krismayes) December 29, 2022
The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office told local media that “discrepancies between the original tally and recount results” aren’t unexpected after the judge’s ruling.
“Recounts provide an opportunity to ensure that all ballots cast are counted accurately and the correct winner won,” State Elections Director Kori Lorick stated Thursday. “Election officials will be reviewing the recount process to identify meaningful process improvements as part of our continued commitment to getting it right.”
Other Races and Challenges
Other than the attorney general’s race, Thomason said Republican Tom Horne prevailed in the race for state superintendent of public instruction and Republican Liz Harris won a state legislative seat in the Phoenix suburbs. The automatic recounts were required because the races were close.
In the race for superintendent of public instruction, Hoffman had previously conceded to Horne, a former schools chief who served one term as attorney general before losing the 2014 primary. Harris won a seat in state House District 13, which includes parts of the Phoenix-area suburbs of Chandler, Sun Lakes, and Gilbert.
In his lawsuit, Hamadeh alleged problems with ballot printers in Maricopa County had led to a series of issues that disenfranchised voters and that his race was affected by improper handling of ballots that were duplicated or adjudicated by people because they could not be read by tabulators. A Mohave County judge, in dismissing the suit, said Hamadeh didn’t prove the errors in vote counting that he had alleged.
Top Maricopa County officials on Nov. 8 confirmed there were printer problems at a large number of polling sites and instructed voters to drop their ballots in dropboxes or head to other polling locations. Later, they said that the printer issue was fixed and asserted that no voters were disenfranchised, but Hamadeh and GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake have said otherwise while pointing to long lines and other irregularities on Election Day.
Several days ago, a judge tossed a similar lawsuit that was filed by Lake that called for a re-do of the race in Maricopa County or for her to be declared the winner against Democrat Katie Hobbs, who is currently secretary of state. In a motion filed with the Arizona Supreme Court this week, Lake said she plans to appeal the ruling.
The same judge, Peter Thompson, also tossed Hobbs’ and Maricopa County’s motion to sanction Lake and her legal team and pay a hefty penalty worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.