Summary of Hand Count Audits - 2020 General Election
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 16-602(B), county election officers are required to conduct a hand count of a sample of ballots to test the accuracy of the vote tabulation equipment if there is participation from the county political parties. Those counties that conduct the hand count are required by law to report the results to the Secretary of State. Click here to see the results.
It’s important for voters to know that counting ballots will continue after Election Day. This is normal and Arizona’s election laws account for this. All results reported are considered unofficial until the adoption of the canvass. Election results fluctuate as ballots continue to be counted, and candidates leading the election can change as more results come in. Tabulation is conducted under the observation of political observers and the public can watch a live stream feed. There is no official winner until the Secretary of State adopts the official canvass of Election on November 30, 2020.
To find local election results, please check with your local county elections office.
Here is a basic timeline of the process:
October 20, 2020 - Counties can officially begin tabulating early ballots that have been cast. Results are not known until election night.
Live Feed Cameras - Tabulation
- Apache County
- Cochise County
- Coconino County
- Gila County
- Graham County
- Greenlee County
- La Paz County
- Maricopa County
- Mohave County
- Navajo County
- Pima County
- Pinal County
- Santa Cruz County
- Yavapai County
- Yuma County
November 3, 2020 7 p.m. Polls close. Any voter in line at 7 p.m.will be permitted to cast a ballot.
November 3, 2020 8 p.m. Counties can release the first round of unofficial election results. These 8 p.m. results are all of the early ballots that have been tabulated prior to election day.
November 3, 2020 - After 8 p.m. Counties will release results from voting locations on Election Day. This can take some time. Voting locations cannot report results until all voters have cast a ballot. Also, some counties use a “central count” method, which means they do not have tabulators at the polls and instead count all ballots on high speed tabulators back at their central count location. Ballots and memory packs are hand delivered from the voting locations to election central, which adds additional, but necessary, time to the process.
After November 3, 2020: Post Election Day activities continue. This includes tabulation and processing early ballots, provisional ballots, post logic and accuracy testing of tabulation equipment, hand counts, etc. Since tabulation is still occurring, election results will continue to be reported, typically at the end of each business day.
November 10, 2020: Deadline for voters to cure their signature on early ballot and deadline for voters to provide sufficient ID for conditional provisional ballots. Curing means that the County Recorder was unable to verify the voter’s signature on their early ballot affidavit envelope. Counties are required to make a reasonable effort to contact those voters if they have a phone number or email on file. Please note, the deadline may be November 12th in counties that are closed on Fridays. Please check with your county.
November 9-23, 2020: Counties must canvass results within 6-20 days after the Election. The Board of Supervisors officially adopts the canvass in a public meeting. The canvass only occurs after EVERY ballot has been.
November 30, 2020 Canvass of Election. The Secretary of State, in the presence of the Governor, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, officially adopts the results of the November 3, 2020 General Election in a public meeting. The Governor also issues the Proclamation on Constitutional Amendments and Measures.
December 14, 2020 Meeting of Presidential Electors: The presidential electors representing the presidential candidate that received the highest number of votes in Arizona will meet at the State Capitol to cast their presidential elector ballot.
Will there be a recount?
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 16-661 and in the presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Arizona would only have an automatic recount if there was a margin of 200 votes or less between. Arizona law does not permit candidates or the public to request a recount.
When does a recount occur?
An automatic recount occurs after the official canvass of election is adopted and must be initiated by a court order. If the canvass shows a margin of 200 votes or less between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the Secretary of State would file a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court and obtain a court order initiating the recount process.
Can someone challenge the results of the election?
Yes. Any elector of Arizona may contest the election of a person within 5 days after the adoption of the canvass. The contest must be brought as an action in Superior Court. See Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 16, Chapter 4, Article 13 for more information.