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Maricopa County official 'very confident' vote counting could be done by Tuesday

Maricopa County elections officials are expected to continue tabulating votes into early this week.

About 160,000 ballots still need to be counted across Arizona. But Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs maintained her lead over Republican Kari Lake by more than 26,000 votes in the governor’s race after the latest update from Maricopa County on Sunday night.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates told CNN prior to the data drop Saturday night that early ballots coming into the center may be from different parts of the county.

"The way the vote center model works is that these folks could be anywhere, from anywhere in Maricopa County, and they’re dropping off at the vote centers," he said.

About 54% of the nearly 100,000 ballots counted by Maricopa County on Sunday favored Kari Lake. That, however, was offset by about 12,000 counted in Pima County that favored Hobbs by a 3-2 margin.

Of the 95,000 votes left to be tabulated in Maricopa County, nearly 60% would need to favor Lake in order for her to overtake Hobbs.

In the attorney general’s race, Democrat Kris Mayes continues to lead Republican Abraham Hamadeh by over 11,000 votes.

The closest race is for superintendent of public instruction as Democrat Kathy Hoffman leads Republican Tom Horne by less than 600 votes.

Gates expressed his disappointment in candidates who continue spreading misinformation about the election process. He reiterated that people should not have expected final results for all races on election night or the day after.

He also said he feels “very confident" that counting could be completed by Tuesday.

Officials emphasized that this year’s process was no different than in previous years.

“This is how things work in Arizona and have for decades,” said Gates.

He said staff are working 14 to 18 hours a day.

“We are doing what we can and still maintaining accuracy,” Gates said.

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Ignacio Ventura is a reporter for KJZZ. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in news media and society.