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GOP, Dem Officials Manage Expectations For Election Night Results

Nearly two weeks after election day, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs signed the canvass, the official results from the 2020 primary.

Hobbs, a Democrat, used the opportunity to remind Arizonans that counting ballots — all those mailed, dropped off, cast early or on Election Day — takes a long time.

“As much as everyone would hope to get official election results on Election Night, the reality is that election officials need time to ensure that it is done accurately,” Hobbs said in a statement. “Election results should not be considered official until the canvass.”

Hobbs isn’t the only statewide official trying to manage expectations. Last week, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey was asked about President Donald Trump’s opposition to more funding for the U.S. Postal Service because he wants to make it harder to vote by mail.

Ducey responded by touting Arizona’s mail ballots as a tried and true method.

“We've been doing it since 1992. Arizona is gonna be able to get it right,” Ducey said.

Ducey also reminded voters that winners in some close races in 2018 were not declared for days following the election. 

“I think with what we're seeing across the country with the amount of ballots that are coming in, both mail-in, drop off and Election Day, it's entirely possible that we will not be able to announce or declare a winner on that evening,” Ducey said. “And I think it's important that people realize that. But we will count all the ballots and announce the numbers as we have them.”

Hobbs said Monday that, during the coronavirus pandemic, the safest way to vote is to receive your ballot by mail. 

About 88% of primary votes were cast by early ballot. That’s out of a record high 1.45 million votes, Hobbs said.

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Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.