Arizona Democrat Katie Hobbs maintains small lead in gubernatorial race, contest still too close to call

Arizona Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs maintains her lead in the latest round of ballots reported from Maricopa County, although the gubernatorial race against Republican Kari Lake remains too close to call.

As of Saturday night, Hobbs’ lead over Kari Lake is less than 35,000 votes with the latest round of reported ballots cutting into the Democrat’s lead.

In total, over 85,000 ballots were reported in Saturday night’s round of ballots.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said in an earlier press conference that the majority of remaining votes left to process are mail-in ballots that were dropped off on Election Day.

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Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs speaks to the media before dropping off her primary election ballot July 21, 2022, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

During a press conference on Saturday, Gates said that the county has begun a mandatory hand count audit of ballots, which is done to ensure that the polling machines are operating correctly.

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Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks with Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie during an interview on November 10, 2022 as ballots continue to be counted across the state.
(Brandon Gillespie)

The Fox News Decision Desk projected on Friday night that Democratic Senator Mark Kelly had won re-election in Arizona. He defeats Republican challenger Blake Masters, who had not yet conceded as of Saturday night.

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Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Gates said that a group of peaceful protesters gathered on Saturday outside the center where votes are being tabulated in Maricopa.