An election worker holds ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) days after former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the 2020 US presidential election winner on November 9, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jim Urquhart | Reuters
President Donald Trump will "very, very unlikely" win enough of the untold ballot in Arizona to defeat President-elect Joe Biden, the state's Republican attorney general said Wednesday.
And there is so far no evidence that Arizona's votes have been affected by fraud or other irregularities that would affect the election, Attorney General Mark Brnovich said.
"It looks like Joe Biden Arizona is going to win," Brnovich said in an interview with Fox Business.
NBC News has not yet forecast a winner in the Arizona presidential election. Democratic former Vice President Biden currently has a lead of nearly 13,000 votes, which is less than 0.4 percentage points ahead of Trump in the state.
But even without Arizona, Biden is currently expected to win 279 electoral college votes, nine more than he would need to deny the incumbent Republican a second term in the White House.
If he wins Arizona, Biden would get 11 additional votes for the electoral college. This would protect him even more against the Trump campaign's ongoing legal efforts to invalidate a number of ballot papers in six battlefield states, including Arizona.
Brnovich said that with fewer than 50,000 ballots not yet counted in Arizona, Trump would need to be featured in at least 65% of the ballots to catch up and top Biden's final record.
This is statistically possible, but "very, very unlikely," Brnovich said in his interview.
The attorney general said his office had examined more than 1,000 complaints about the invalidation of ballot papers by ink bleeding and people using Sharpie markers, and his office had also conducted sample checks of constituencies.
These investigations found no evidence of fraud and "no facts that would lead anyone to believe the election results will change," said Brnovich, whose wife Susan Brnovich was appointed to the US District Court in Arizona by Trump in 2018.
Brnovich said the idea of major fraud in Arizona is being undermined by the fact that in many cases, voters "share their ticket".
"People voted for Republicans, but they didn't vote for President Trump (or the incumbent GOP Senator) Martha McSally … that's the reality," Brnovich said.
"Just because that happened doesn't mean it's a scam."
McSally is expected to lose her race. On Wednesday, she had 48.8% of the vote, compared to Democratic challenger Mark Kelly who had 51.2% of the vote.
The Georgian Foreign Minister said on Wednesday there would be a handcount of all ballot papers cast in the state that put 16 electoral college votes at stake.
NBC has yet to forecast a winner in Georgia, where Biden leads Trump at 49.5% to 49.2%, which translates to a profit margin of about 14,000 ballots on Wednesday afternoon.
Legal analysts say Trump's goal of avoiding loss to Biden through a combination of legal challenges and recounts is daunting.
Recounts rarely, if ever, show fluctuations from thousands of ballots for a candidate, much less from the 10,000 or more ballots that Trump Biden follows in states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
And even if Trump can prove fraud in some cases, legal watchers say judges are unlikely to invalidate a state's election results unless there are enough cases of fraud to improve the outcome.
Trump's turnout is 217, according to NBC News forecasts.
Even if he wins the 15 electoral votes in North Carolina, where he leads Biden by more than 70,000 votes, Trump would have to reverse the projected results of at least three states in order to win enough votes to win the national race.