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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Arizona Elections Bills, Good & Bad

Our sister organization ACER has put together a list of bills currently in the Arizona Legislature regarding election integrity, Arizona election process and the Arizona Secretary of State elections manual. We need the support of citizens to make sure our elections are free from fraud and transparent to the public in Arizona. Their website lists 17 bills but since we have highlighted three in the past, we are going to do so again here:
  • SB1053 elections; counting center; observation. (Senators Gray and Blendu.) Adds a new provision to state law that all proceedings at the counting center shall be under the observation of a representative of a candidate for nonpartisan office, a representative of a political committee in support of or in opposition to a ballot measure, proposition or question. Current law specifies representatives of each political party and the public. The bill provides for observers in non partisan elections. Passed out of Senate Judiciary. SUPPORT

  • SB1395 orders of protection; animals strike all bill for elections (Senator Johnson) Creates provision for graphic scanning of 10% of early, provisional and polling place ballots for purposes on maintaining the transparency of the vote counting process. SUPPORT

  • SB1477 elections; manual audit revisions (Senator Johnson and Senator Gray) Expands the hand count from 1% to 2% or ten thousand for early ballots to conform with the 2% manual audit of the precinct-cast ballots. On Senate Judiciary agenda for 2-25-08. SUPPORT

ACER lists their support and opposition to the various 17 bills. AuditAZ supports the three aforementioned, and for the full 17, please click here.

When you review that list, you will aslo see another bill which we join ACER in opposing. The lawsuit the Pima County Democratic Party has filed against Pima County Board of Supervisors and the Elections Division and their "lost" tapes highlights why this bill will do more damage to our transparency of elections in Arizona:
  • HB 2364 election law amendments. (Representatives Crandall, Reagan: Adams, Konopnicki) Makes a number of changes to election law. Makes changes to the election date concerning a vacancy for a U.S. representative of Arizona. Makes changes to dates in the voter registration file concerning when a person can be moved to the inactive list and eventually removed. Eliminates of ARS 16-445 Section 11 E. Specifically strikes this language: Each program tape or disc or any other material submitted to the secretary of state shall be returned to the county, city or town within six months after the close of the election for which it was submitted except: 1. When a court ordered recount is pending. 2. When a restraining order is in effect. 3. When any other legal action is pending. The bottom line is that these changes could bolster the argument that no one can examine what is sent to the Secretary of State. The material sent to the Secretary of State would have been important to the Pima County Democratic Party's examination of fraud in the RTA election. That material was sent back to Pima County where it "disappeared." Subsection A would not require Pima County to destroy evidence because the Secretary of State would destroy it for them. Passed out of House Judiciary 2-21-08. OPPOSE

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