Arizona 2020: Election Administration in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Arizona was the most competitive state in the 2020 presidential election. Joseph Biden beat Donald Trump in the state by only 10,457 votes. As a result, the state’s administration of the election came under great scrutiny and produced considerable litigation. This chapter explores how Arizona prepared for, administered, and certified the 2020 general election in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The state has a long history of mail voting and was able to expand and modify existing voting infrastructure to ensure a smooth and safe election. Lawsuits in the months leading up to the general election challenged deadlines for voter registration, for receipt of mail-in ballots, and for fixing ballots with missing signatures. Because of the narrow margin of victory, many aspects of Arizona’s election administration were challenged in court. None of these lawsuits challenging the count succeeded, however. In the end, Republican and Democratic election officials in Arizona vouched for the security and accuracy of the election, and the courts validated their assessments.  As this volume went to press, however, Arizona was conducting a controversial and unprecedented audit of the ballots in Maricopa County, which further stoked unjustified fears of fraud and a lack of confidence in the election outcome

Authors: Haley Schwab and Joven Hundal

A final report on Arizona's performance during the 2020 general election.

Final Report / March 10, 2021
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