A lot more than half of the entire population of the entire state of Arizona lives in Maricopa County. The cities of Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale and largest of all, Phoenix, are all within the county’s borders. If you want to win statewide in Arizona, you have to win Maricopa County. Unfortunately, as of tonight, we still don’t know who has won Maricopa County either in the U.S. Senate race there or in the governor’s race in Arizona, because officials are not even close to finishing the count.
Forty-eight hours after the voting stopped, there’s still 633,000 ballots still uncounted in Arizona. More than 400,000 of those are in Maricopa County. You’re seeing it on your screen right now. When will we know the results? Last night, election officials claimed they’d have a new tally for us by 8 p.m. eastern, the beginning of our show, but the deadline came and went.
By the end of the night, they had finished counting fewer than 70,000 more votes. Then they said they’d have final totals by Friday, tomorrow, but no. Today, the county officials said they don’t expect to announce the results of the elections until next week at the earliest.
CNN REPORTER: When do you anticipate the votes will be counted in total, those 400,000-plus votes?
BILL GATES, CHAIRMAN, MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERVISORS: Well, we have, we will be going into next week. There are some onesie-twosies, again, pursuant to Arizona law, but I think that we’ll see the lion’s share here wrap up by early next week.
CNN REPORTER: Early next week? Can you give me a day? We’re talking Monday?
BILL GATES, CHAIRMAN, MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERVISORS: Maybe, as long as you won’t hold me to it.
Can you tell us, Mr. Official, Mr. Election Official, when we might learn who won the election? “Maybe, as long as you don’t hold me to it.” That was the chairman of the Maricopa County supervisors. Notice what you did not hear in that exchange. You did not hear an apology. The guy in charge of election results never said sorry for not providing those results.
It’s hard to understand this. It’s not a resource problem certainly. The budget of Maricopa County is about $4.5 billion a year. For perspective, the entire Hoover Dam cost $890 million to build and yes, that is in adjusted dollars. For the price of five Hoover Dams, Maricopa County can’t even count the ballots in a single statewide election in a country that claims to care about democracy.
They can’t even manage to let people vote on Election Day. On Election Day, according to the county, 70 of 223 polling places suffered major problems with voting machines, machines the county paid millions for just recently, and their failure disenfranchised mostly Republican voters who wanted to cast their ballots in person.
One poll worker reported that 25% of ballots were being rejected. Now you would call that third-world, but actually it’s beneath third-world. Most third-world countries have serious elections. They require voter ID. They don’t wait days for election results in Ghana.
In Venezuela, whatever you think of it, they tally their ballots within hours, but suddenly, we can’t manage to do that? Clark County, Nevada, the home of Las Vegas, says there are still tens of thousands of ballots left to count. Therefore, we’re not going to know what happened in the election until Monday, we hope.
We’re going to talk to Adam Laxalt about that in a minute. He’s running for Senate there. Officials in Clark County are clearly overwhelmed. They’re too busy to finish the one job they are paid to do and yet, strangely, they still have time to attack Donald Trump on social media, which they’ve been doing all day, first things first, but it’s not just Nevada and Arizona.
Key House races all along the west coast of the country in California, Oregon and Washington state are still unsettled tonight. They’re saying they haven’t counted the votes. Really? What is this? Is this fraud? We’re not sure and on some level, it doesn’t matter what it is. What we know is that the mechanics of our elections are not working almost exclusively in states and cities run by Democrats. Are they cheating? Are they disorganized? Again, not relevant. The system is obviously out of control. It’s flaky and systems like that cannot be, by definition, reliable. Would you let a Maricopa County elections official fly your aircraft? Probably not. That’s a disaster.
Democracy is a faith-based system. You have to believe in it in order for it to work, but who could believe in this? Our news media, in case you haven’t noticed, have spent the last several years “defending democracy.” Insert trademark here. You would think the democracy defenders would care about the collapse of democracy, but just the opposite. They’re telling you it’s all completely normal. It’s always been this way. If you disagree, you will be censored on social media as we found out today.
Twitter just slapped a warning label on videos from this show because we reported verifiable facts from election officials about election screw-ups. So, it’s taking weeks to count the ballots in your democracy, but you’re not allowed to notice it. What is this about? Again, we’re not sure and at this stage, there’s really no way to know what it’s about, so we’re not making allegations, but we thought we’d ask because it’d be interesting to ask the most obvious question of all and see if we can find the answer. The question is: Who’s benefiting from this and how do you know? We can look backwards.
In cases where there was chaos and delays in vote-counting over the past several election cycles, what percentage of the ultimate winners turned out to be Democrats? Now, in a fair system, you would think the proportion would land somewhere around 50%, a coin toss, but we checked. Oh, and that’s not the case. In 13 recent races, we looked at where election delays were well-publicized. Ten of them ultimately went to the Democrat, 10 out of 13, 77%. It’s not a coin toss. It’s a very high average.
Take, for example, the 2018 election in Orange County, California. Republican congressional candidates and three of the four Republican-held districts in Orange County had huge leads on Election Day, but in the weeks following the election, those leads disappeared. They evaporated. In the end, Democrats flipped each of those seats in Orange County, which not that long ago was a very conservative area, in some places still is.
How did that happen? Well, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that 250,000 vote-by-mail drop-off ballots came in. Many of those ballots were brought in to polling stations by paid ballot harvesters. The Orange County Register put it this way: “People were carrying in stacks of 100 and 200 of them. We had multiple people calling to ask if these people were allowed to do this,” but of course, they were allowed. That was the point.
The sudden reversals didn’t just happen in Orange County, California. In the state’s 21st congressional district, the Associated Press declared Republican David Valadao the winner because of his lead on election night, and it takes a lot. The AP does not call races for Republicans unless they’re pretty sure, but in this case, they had to retract the call nearly three weeks later, after his opponent took the lead, the Democrat, because new ballots continued to be counted.
That same year, again in Nevada, one local paper documented the lengthy problems in vote counting on election night and of course, the inevitable result, which you can guess by this point, and we’re quoting: “After a long evening of tortuous delay following a historic midterm election turnout, the results were finally in, and the blue wave promised by Nevada Democrats became a definitive reality.”
It was the same story that year in places like Detroit and again, Arizona. It took days for all the votes to be counted in the state of Arizona and ultimately you will not be shocked to learn, Republican Martha McSally narrowly lost her race for the Senate. So, here you have lengthy delays in vote counting, followed by good news for Democrats. It’s happened all over the country.
In 2020, it took officials six weeks to declare a winner the Democratic Party’s congressional primary for two districts in the state of New York and in the end, because these were primaries, it was an intra-Democratic Party contest, the Democratic Party establishment, the most powerful part of the Democratic Party, won.
Longtime Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney fended off an insurgent progressive successfully after long delays and then Ritchie Torres defeated his challenger, who was a conservative Democrat. Weird how that works. Several years earlier, the same thing happened to Republicans in Sacramento.
On election night in 2014 in the suburbs of the city, it looked like a Republican challenger called Doug Ose was about to unseat an incumbent Democratic congressman, Ami Bera. The Republican was up more than 3,000 votes, but then two weeks later, more votes came in and guess what? The Democrat was declared the winner by 700 votes and he’s been in Congress ever since.
In all the recent cases that we looked at, only the state of Florida had a long voting count delay that led to a Republican winning, and it was in just one county. That was in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election, when incompetent Democrats in Broward County broke the law and failed to report vote totals for days. Ultimately, as you know, Ron DeSantis won.
On Tuesday thanks to efforts to improve vote counting in the state of Florida, Florida tabulated results much more quickly. Florida is far bigger than Arizona or Nevada, but by contrast, had its election results, as you know, in a single day and by the way, Florida enforces voter I.D. law strictly, so it’s pretty hard to argue about who actually won.
No matter what you think of Ron DeSantis or his policies, you may hate him and them, you still, if you are an honest person, must acknowledge that that is a win for democracy. The system worked. The votes were counted. They were reported promptly. Democracy won in Florida, even if the outcome is not to your preference, but no one in the media seemed impressed by this. Here, in fact, is a CNN contributor arguing that by trying to prevent voter fraud, Ron DeSantis actually “gamed the system.”
ANA NAVARRO: Yesterday, he won by 20 percentage points. Why? Because he gamed the system because he turned Florida into an unleveled playing field. They changed election laws, making it harder to vote by mail. They paraded a bunch of people, Black people that they arrested for voting fraud and paraded them in front of national media. He created an election police. He also was very good in responding to hurricanes and other tragedies.
So, by fighting election fraud, Ron DeSantis “gamed the system.” Well, he certainly did. He gamed their system and we ought to demand that every state games their system. We ought to demand that every election in America looks like Florida’s election, not in its outcome, but in the way it’s conducted. Only registered voters can vote. They must vote in their own names. They can only vote once and you get to know the results, you, the citizen, who own and run this country, within hours. Anything less than that is an actual attack on democracy.