Arizona AG Gives County Full Ballot OK

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s Republican Attorney General has issued an opinion that starting with the Nov. 8 election, county officials will be able to hand-count all ballots in at least five precincts. He asked for a hand count.

Efforts to count ballots by hand Driven by baseless concerns Some Republicans believe that problems with ballot counting machines and voter fraud contributed to the 2020 defeat of former President Donald Trump.

With the new Attorney General’s opinion, two Republicans on Cochise County’s three-member oversight board have backed plans to hand-count some precincts for both early voting and Election Day voting. did. They promised to reduce their efforts on Wednesday.

Under state law, both Democratic and Republican local leaders are required to provide hundreds of volunteers to conduct the tally.

At a heated meeting Friday, Democratic Party supervisor Anne English said she would do everything she could to stop the county Democratic chairman from providing those workers.

“I hope, if I have the authority, I can persuade the Democratic Party chairman of Cochise County not to serve the people to this debacle of my intent,” English said. I think we talk about this every day, so people are wondering, “What’s wrong with our election?” ”

That comment came after Republican Inspector Peggy Judd said she wanted to move forward, and Republican Inspector Tom Crosby lashed out at English’s opposition and efforts to stop the full count.

“It’s fine to talk about how this is done, but all you want to do is prevent it from happening,” said Crosby. I am interested in the discussion of how that is done.”

The Cochise County Democratic Party referred to an inquiry Saturday about whether to send volunteers for the expanded hand count to the state party. He said he was consulting with a lawyer about

“More than disappointed with yesterday’s circus meeting,” the county party posted on its Facebook page on Saturday.

“Judd, Crosby and (County Recorder David) Stevens are desperate to appease MAGA election naysayers instead of doing what’s right for our county,” the post continued.

Hand counting is done in conjunction with machine counting, and machine counting is used for legal results.

An informal opinion issued by Attorney General Mark Brunovich’s office on Friday came as the board was at odds with Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Authorities have been warned against extending the number of hands to all races. Hobbes is the state’s chief election officer and is running for governor.

Hobbs gave them permission to hand-count ballots for all four races on Election Day, but she said it was illegal to do so with early voting, which accounts for more than 80% of ballots in the state. said. The regular hand-count audits required by law to ensure the accuracy of ballot tallying machines cover only a small percentage of the ballots.

According to Brnovic’s Deputy Attorney General’s opinion, counties can manually count all votes in up to five elections.

Hobbs’ office said they disagreed and the law does not allow early voting.

“With early voting well underway and less than two weeks from Election Day, these antics are simply causing confusion and confusion over the election and ballot counting, which is highly irresponsible. ‘ said a statement from Hobbes’ office.

Supervisors in Pinal County, a much larger and growing suburb just south of Metro Phoenix’s Maricopa County, are also considering handcounting. doing.

Republican county attorneys elected in both jurisdictions have warned their respective boards that they have no legal authority to expand the voting handcount.

Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer told the board Wednesday, “It is illegal to do a full hand count at this point.

Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre told the board that he believes full hand counting is illegal and that the commission and county recorder David Stevens should seek outside counsel. After supervisor Judd said Brnovic had the go-ahead, he repeated it on Friday.

He also pointed out that the effort runs counter to the doctrine set by the U.S. Supreme Court, which states that election rules and procedures cannot be changed in the vicinity of an election.

Efforts to Ballot handcounting in rural Nevada’s Nye County is plagued with problemsOfficials in the Republican-led county have pledged to resume efforts as soon as possible.


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