LIVE BLOG: Your Ultimate Guide to Election Day in Arizona

LIVE BLOG: Your Ultimate Guide to Election Day in Arizona

By Camaron Stevenson

October 19, 2020

Bookmark this page for the latest on-the-ground updates on what’s happening in Arizona on Election Day.

Now that you’ve voted, it’s time to see the results. Early ballot returns are showing historic voter turnout not just in Arizona, but across the county. At The Copper Courier, we’re committed to keeping our readers informed leading up to Nov. 3, on Election Day, and as results continue to be announced in the coming weeks.

Friday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.

Trump Gains, But Not Enough to Overtake Biden

President Trump gained more votes in Maricopa County’s Friday night vote dump, but he still trails Biden by about 30,000 votes across the state.

The county elections department said they have surpassed 2 million votes cast, the highest in its history.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told CNN there are still 173,000 votes left to count in the state, including provisional ballots, and 92,000 left in Maricopa County.

The county’s next drop is expected Saturday morning.

Friday, Nov. 6, 10:30 a.m.

Mark Kelly Defeats Sen. McSally

Mark Kelly gained enough votes in Maricopa County’s latest drop to defeat Sen. Martha McSally.

Kelly will join Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in the Senate, marking the first time in nearly 70 years the state has had two Democratic senators.

The county’s vote dump also showed President Trump shrinking his vote deficit, but not by much. He is now behind Biden by about 44,000 votes in total across the state.

Maricopa County will release its next update tonight at 7 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 5, 9 p.m.

Arizona Voters Pass Invest in Ed

Proposition 208, also known as Invest in Ed, has received enough votes to put it over the top.

The ballot measure will raise taxes on the personal income of wealthy Arizonans and put the money into a fund for schools to use toward raising salaries for and hiring more teachers and support staff. 

Educators have been pushing for this measure since it first failed to make the ballot in 2018, after the Red for Ed walkouts.

The state has consistently been ranked as one of the worst for school funding.

Thursday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.

Trump Inches Up But Biden Still Ahead

Maricopa County’s latest numbers show Biden’s lead growing even smaller in the state, but the former vice president is still up by about 46,000 votes.

Kelly’s lead over McSally also shrank, but he is still ahead by nearly 103,000 votes.

Rep. David Schweikert increased his lead over Hiral Tipirneni in the 6th District, with the incumbent now ahead by about 10,000 votes.

The county’s next update is expected Friday at 9 a.m, followed by another at 7 p.m.

The latest drop consisted of just over 75,000 votes, leaving about 200,000 plus provisional ballots still left to count.

Thursday, Nov. 5, 12:39 a.m.

Biden Still Up But Lead Shrinks

Maricopa County posted new numbers early Thursday showing Biden still ahead in Arizona but by a smaller margin.

Earlier in the day, he was ahead of Trump by 93,500 votes. The latest numbers show a lead of about 68,000.

Kelly held on to his lead over McSally in the Senate race with a slight shrink. He is ahead by nearly 122,000 votes, 22,000 fewer than earlier in the day.

The county elections department says there are still 275,000 votes left to count, plus provisional ballots, with the next update expected Thursday at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 3 p.m.

Tom O’Halleran Re-elected in 1st District

After initial results left Arizona’s 1st District too close to call, incumbent Rep. Tom O’Halleran has been called the winner.

The Democrat was challenged by Republican Tiffany Shedd.

O’Halleran is leading by 13,500 votes with 87% of expected ballots counted.

He was the eighth out of nine Arizona House incumbents to hold on to their seats. The 6th District is still up in the air as Democrat Dr. Hiral Tipirneni holds on to a narrow lead over Republican Rep. David Schweikert.

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 10:40 a.m.

Democrats Leading But Arizona Still Counting

According to vote tallies Wednesday morning, Democrats are leading in key races in Arizona.

However, only 86% of the vote has been reported. In other words, there are still an estimated 400,000 ballots left to count, meaning things could still change.

As of now, Joe Biden is ahead for president by about 93,500 votes. And Mark Kelly is leading for the Senate by more than 144,000 votes.

According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, voters cast a total of 2,793,359 ballots. That resulted in a more than 65% turnout for the state.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 9:10 p.m.

Arizona Approves Recreational Marijuana

Arizona voters on Tuesday decided the state should join others across the nation that have legalized recreational marijuana in a repudiation of the state’s Republican leadership.

Voters approved Proposition 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, four years after they narrowly defeated a marijuana legalization proposal.

Recreational marijuana sales will become legal when election results are certified in about a month. Retail sales could start in May and people can grow their own plants. People 21 and older can possess up to an ounce of marijuana or a smaller quantity of “concentrates” such as hashish. 

The act also levies a 16% excise tax on pot above the standard sales tax that goes to state and local governments. 

The new tax could bring in $166 million a year. It will fund community colleges, local police and fire agencies, local and state transportation projects and public health and criminal justice programs. Combined with sales tax, legislative analysts estimate $255 million in new revenue annually.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 9 p.m.

Two US House Seats in the Air

After Tuesday’s first round of results, most of Arizona’s incumbents in the US House of Representatives have secured their seats.

However, in District 6, where Democrat Dr. Hiral Tipirneni has mounted a serious challenge against Republican Rep. David Schweikert, the numbers are too close to call. Tipirneni is leading by nearly 14,000 votes.

While Arizona has been shifting from solid red to purple, Schweikert seems especially vulnerable after he admitted to a series of ethics violations in July and earned a rare unanimous reprimand from his House colleagues. 

District 1, where Democrat Rep Tom O’Halleran is being challenged by Republican Tiffany Shedd, is also looking to be a tight race.

O’Halleran represents the sprawling 1st District that runs from Flagstaff east to the Navajo Nation and then south to take in parts of the suburbs north of Tucson. That race is the only Democratic seat Cook Political Report rated as lean rather than likely Democratic. 

O’Halleran leads by just under 20,000 votes.

Monday, Nov. 2

Early Vote Numbers

The following results are taken from the US Election Project. Last updated on Nov. 2.

LIVE BLOG: Your Ultimate Guide to Election Day in Arizona
LIVE BLOG: Your Ultimate Guide to Election Day in Arizona
Tuesday, October 27

Last Day to Return Ballots By Mail

This is the last day elections officials recommend returning ballots by mail. Voters can still return their ballots at a secure ballot drop box, or they can vote in person. Visit our voting guide to find the nearest polling place or ballot drop-off box.

Friday, Oct. 16, 5 p.m.

Maricopa County Attorney Debate

Maricopa County Attorney candidates Julie Gunigle and Allister Adel participated in a debate at Arizona PBS. Watch the full debate here.

Thursday, Oct. 15, 11:15 a.m.

Democratic Majority in Sight

The Republican advantage in Arizona’s state legislature has slowly diminished over the past several years, with a Democratic majority in sight for the first time in over two decades.

Five legislative districts, in particular, have been the recipients of national attention and major campaign contributions. At The Copper Courier, we’ve covered these races extensively and will continue to offer daily insights regarding voter turnout in LD6, LD17, LD20, LD21, and LD28.

Legislative Live Blog.

Tuesday, Oct. 13, 3:00 p.m.

Voter Registration Deadline Settled

After some back-and-forth in the courts, Arizona’s voter registration deadline is Oct. 15.

The original deadline was Oct. 5. That day, a federal judge granted two advocacy groups’ request to extend the deadline to Oct. 23 to allow more time for people affected by the pandemic to sign up. 

Arizona has recorded more than 43,000 new registrations in the week since the deadline was extended. 

Read More.

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 8:29 a.m.

Virtual Voting Allowed (for Some)

A judge ruled Monday that Arizona may allow voters in long-term care centers to cast their ballots virtually if it’s necessary due to a disability.

Normally in Arizona, special elections boards meet with people in long-term care centers who need assistance with voting. The board, comprised of one Republican and one Democrat, meets the voter, fills out the ballot as directed, and return it for counting.

But due to health concerns caused by the pandemic, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs came up with a workaround—allowing boards to meet with voters via video call. 

Read More.

The Associated Press contributed to these reports.

Important Dates and Deadlines

October 7: Early voting begins

October 15: Deadline to register to vote in the November Election *Note: This is a new deadline that was changed on Oct. 13, 2020.

October 23: Last day to request that your ballot be mailed to you

October 27: Last day it is recommended that ballots be mailed back. If you don’t mail your ballot by this date, you can still drop it off at a polling center.

October 30: Last day to vote early in-person

November 3: Election Day! Polling places for in-person voting close at 7 p.m. Early ballots dropped off after 7 p.m. will not be counted.

Voting Checklist

Are you registered to vote?

  • Check your voter registration status here
  • Register to vote here

Are you voting by mail, in-person, or dropping off your ballot at a polling center?

  • To have a ballot mailed to you, sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List OR make a request for a one-time ballot-by-mail
  • Voters can use polling centers to vote in-person or to drop off ballots that were mailed to them. Find your polling place here.

What’s on your ballot?

  • This November, Arizonans will be voting for the President of the United States, their local school board members, and everything in between. Find out what’s on your ballot by visiting the Arizona Clean Elections Voting Dashboard.

Continue Reading: The Copper Courier’s Guide to Voting in Arizona in 2020


  • Camaron Stevenson

    Camaron is the Founding Editor and Chief Political Correspondent for The Copper Courier, and has worked as a journalist in Phoenix for over a decade. He also teaches multimedia journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

CATEGORIES: Uncategorized
Related Stories
Share This