The controversy over the media calling Arizona for Biden continues as Secretary of State Katie Hobbs announced the latest ballot count showing that Donald Trump trailed Joe Biden by fewer than 30,000 votes. That gap had been over 90,000 two days ago.
Later, the Daily Mail reported that Trump had closed the gap to fewer than 20,000 votes
The Trump campaign was livid with Fox News and the AP for calling the race with more than 600,000 votes outstanding. Their analysis showed that there were enough Trump votes left to give him the state.
Hobbs says there are still 173,000 votes to count, including 27,000 provisional ballots which won’t be counted until Wednesday.
Hobbs, a Democrat, told CNN that the remaining non-provisional ballots should be counted “by tomorrow if not Sunday,” but that the provisional ballots may delay determining a winner for the state’s 11 electoral votes.
“We can’t count [provisional ballots] until Tuesday because counties have five business days to resolve those,” she said. “[There are] 47,000 provisional ballots which we will count Wednesday and not all of those will actually end up being counted.”
That’s because many of those provisional ballots were cast incorrectly or illegally.
Provisional ballots are cast in person at voting booths, but aren’t included in initial counts for a variety of issues, including a person not presenting a valid ID or voting at the wrong location, Hobbs said. If improper identification is displayed, voters must return with proper documents, she said.
“Provisional ballots tend to skew Democratic… if you look at Arizona’s history,” Hobbs said. “[But] nothing in terms of voting patterns has gone according to what we’ve seen in the past.”
Most of the remaining ballots are from Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. But Trump has been running stronger than expected in the county and is making up ground on Biden because of it.
Trump would still have to win the lion’s share of ballots yet to be counted.
Even if Trump could eke out a victory in Arizona, his campaign is on a deathwatch. The president trails in Nevada by more than 22,000 votes, he is losing Pennsylvania by more than 28,000, and Georgia by about 5,000. Some media have called the race in Pennsylvania for Biden, making him president-elect.
The legal front looks even more dismal for the president. His efforts to stop counting ballots in Michigan have failed and while he got the Supreme Court to segregate Pennsylvania’s late-arriving ballots that came in after Election Day, SCOTUS also found the state law that made it possible to accept ballots for six days after the election legal. Unless Trump can prove those ballots were fraudulent, they will be counted.
But Trump was already behind in the vote count so it’s hard to see how it would make any difference even if they were rejected.
The long and short of it is that, barring startling proof from Trump lawyers that some kind of fraud was committed, Joe Biden will be the president-elect.