Three days after Election Day, votes in Arizona and Nevada are still being counted, and the Georgia Senate race heading to a runoff. Critics are calling out the delays and demanding election reform as the nation waits to learn who will control power in Congress.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., joined “Fox & Friends” Friday and weighed in on the controversy surrounding the vote counting in the two western states.
“The people of Arizona and Nevada deserve a lot better than the electoral system the politicians in those states have delivered to them,” Cotton said. “In fact, our nation deserves better when you have the fate of power in Congress hanging in the balance, as you say.”
Other critics have echoed Cotton’s concern over the vote-counting process.
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“In an age when we have GPS and we have instant texting, the obvious answer is we ought to be able to get accurate votes within 24 hours,” former Assistant Secretary of State Robert Charles said on “Fox & Friends First” Friday.
Arizona saw its first wave of election frustration when officials in Maricopa County reported roughly 20% of the tabulators were experiencing issues just hours into Election Day.
Since then, thousands of votes are still waiting to be counted, leaving the state and the country without answers on which party will govern the next two years.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has expressed her outrage over the delayed results, which she connected to voters who dropped off their mail-in ballots on Election Day, potentially overwhelming the counting system.
“[Those] are people who brought their mail-in ballots to the polls on Election Day because they don’t trust the mail and they don’t trust the drop boxes,” Lake said in an interview with Fox News Digital.
“When you see 300,000 ballots dropped on Election Day in a place like Arizona, what it does is it creates public doubt and that, of course, invites public distrust,” Charles said.
Nevada faces a similar vote-count delay. Officials in Nevada explained the slow count is related to policies that allow mail-in-ballots to be postmarked up to Election Day, which can take up to Sunday to arrive and be counted.
Cotton responded to the ongoing uncertainty by calling on officials to reform election laws, using Florida and Arkansas as examples of efficient and reliable vote counting.
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“Florida, which has many millions of more people than those states, was able to count ballots all in one night. Arkansas, which is about the size of Nevada, we counted all of our ballots in one night,” Cotton said. “These states need to take a hard look at their election laws, just like Florida did 20 years ago.
Charles affirmed Cotton’s call for change, saying states could fix the election policies by enforcing concrete deadlines for mail-in voting or adjusting the timetable.
“There’s an easy way to do this, and that is to back up the mail-in voting, give it a concrete date, and then have people come in on Election Day if they want to come in and cast it or even cast it in locations ahead of time,” Charles said. “There’s really no excuse for these delays.”
As the nation anxiously awaits results from Arizona and Nevada, control of the House and Senate remains up for grabs while voters wait for races to be called.
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“I hope that whoever wins these races for the statehouse in Arizona and Nevada will take a careful look at their system in the future and reform them, so we can have election results on election night,” Cotton said.
Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo, Lee Ross, Charles Creitz and Brianna Herlihy contributed to this report.