A bill making its way through the legislature proposes to allow Arizona election officials to conduct a 100% hand count of the ballots cast in an election.
Republican Representative Gail Griffin is the prime sponsor of the bill. The bill gives the authority to county officers in charge of elections, the county recorder, or another officer designated by county boards of supervisors to conduct a full hand count of the ballots cast in an election.
During a Senate Elections Committee meeting in March, Rep. Griffin says that she believes Arizona law already allows for a 100% hand tally of election ballots and the purpose of the bill is to further clarify the language.
“Worked with David Stevens, the Cochise County Recorder, on this language — its permissive language,” said Rep. Griffin during the March 27 committee meeting. “We feel that they have the authority right now to do it, but it just clarifies who can do it.”
However, Arizona law only has a requirement for a hand count audit of at least two percent of the precincts in a county, or two precincts, whichever is greater. Those ballots are supposed to be selected at random from a pool consisting of every precinct in that county.
House Minority Whip Marcelino Quiñonez said that “House Bill 2722 would create chaos in our election system. This bill only further pushes the unproven conspiracy that elections in Arizona are fraudulent as a result of machines counting our votes. Time after time, Arizona has proven that our elections are accurate and secure …
“I think this is a solution to a problem that does not exist,” Rep. Quiñonez continued.
The bill has passed the House and awaits a vote in the full Senate.
Griffin represents District 19, which includes pieces of Cochise, Graham, Santa Cruz, and Greenlee Counties.