Media outlets project Biden victory in Arizona as Trump campaign seeks court intervention in the battleground state
News organizations have called Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden after a week of counting, confident that remaining uncounted votes and ongoing legal challenges won’t change the outcome in the traditionally red state.
CNN, the New York Times, CBS, ABC, and NBC have all projected a Biden win in the state, more than a week after the Associated Press and Fox News declared Arizona had turned blue. The call, made in the early hours of November 4, came after just 73 percent of the state’s votes had been tallied. The early projection from the two outlets was criticized for being premature. At the time, some reports suggested that Trump could overcome Biden’s narrow lead in the state.
With 99 percent of the state reporting, Biden leads Trump by 0.3 percent, or about 11,000 votes, according to AP. Arizona hasn’t voted Democrat in a presidential contest since 1996.
Biden now has 290 electoral votes, according to AP’s tally.
The projected win comes as the Trump campaign continues to petition the courts to order a manual inspection of Election Day ballots in the Phoenix metro area. The lawsuit claims that tabulation machines failed to accurately count votes cast for the president.
The suit, filed on Saturday, alleges that poll workers in Maricopa County improperly handled ballots that were flagged by counting machines as having too many selections.
Attorneys defending Arizona election officials say that the case should be dismissed because the Trump campaign has failed to provide evidence that there were systematic errors in the way poll workers processed ballots.
Arizona does not allow recounts unless the margin between candidates is 200 votes or less, or one-tenth of one percent of the total number of votes. However, the state is conducting a random hand-count audit in six counties, including Maricopa County, as a quality control measure required under state law.
Trump has alleged that fraud connected to mail-in ballots and vote-tabulation machines tipped the scales for Biden in several battleground states. The Republican incumbent has launched legal challenges and recounts in several key states. Biden declared himself president-elect on November 8, and has reportedly mulled legal action if Trump does not move forward with procedures used to ensure a smooth transition of power.
An earlier lawsuit over allegations that Sharpie markers given to voters led to damaged and rejected ballots in Maricopa County was dropped on Saturday, after Arizona’s Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich found that the accusations were unfounded. Election officials have repeatedly denied claims of vote fraud.
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