Maricopa County Recorder Forewarns That Democrats Will Lead On Election Night

September 7, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

In an attempt to set voter expectations ahead of the upcoming midterm elections, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer shared that initial results would favor Democrats heavily.

Richer based his prediction on the voting patterns from November 2020 and last month’s primary election. Both elections first tabulated early ballots received the week beforehand, most of which voted for Democratic candidates. Then, the county tabulates early ballots dropped off the day before and on Election Day, as well as in-person ballots, most of which voted for Republican candidates.

“First moral of the story: in Arizona, initial results will likely be much bluer than eventual final results,” said Richer. “Second moral: if you want your ballot to be part of results released at 8:00 pm on Election Night, return it before the weekend before Election Day.”

Less than two weeks after last month’s primary election, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors released their canvas of the election results. Over 866,000 voters (35 percent of the 2.47 million registered voters) cast ballots in the primary election, over 87 percent of which were early voters.

According to the canvas, Republicans had a higher turnout than Democrats in Maricopa County: over 59 percent to just over 47 percent, respectively. 


While Richer predicted the county’s potential initial outcomes for the midterms, the primary’s voter turnout and the county’s voter registration numbers hint at the potential final outcomes.

According to the county’s latest voter registration statistics in July, most voters identified as Republican. Over 854,000 voters were Republican (34.5 percent), while over 851,000 voters were “other” (34.4 percent) and over 748,000 were Democrats (30.2 percent).

For months, party switches have trended in the following order from least to greatest: other, Republican, Democrat, than Libertarian. In July, over 5,500 voters switched to “other,” over 4,500 switched to “Republican,” over 3,500 switched to Democrat, and over 400 switched to Libertarian. 

Maricopa County’s pattern of voter registrations aligns with the state’s. According to the secretary of state’s latest voter registration statistics, there are over 1.4 million Republicans (34.5 percent), over 1.4 million “other” voters (33.7 percent), and nearly 1.3 million Democrats (30.9 percent). Less than one percent, or 32,600 voters, were Libertarian. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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