Because it’s the first presidential primary on the calendar, there’s no margin for error.

Given a hard mandate to be fast and be first on delivering results, Elections Service chief Don Rehill and his core Election Tabulation team spent months working their sources — and then organized and trained a broader team. They then took in the votes, performed rigorous quality control and published to the world a vote count that was far ahead of the competition from the moment polls closed.

It was a vote count that allowed the AP Decision Desk to be the first to declare Donald Trump the winner of the GOP primary at 8 p.m.