Arizona Lawmakers Come to Bipartisan Agreement on Election Bill Giving More Time for Automatic Vote Recount

One of the leading provisions is making signature verification guidelines state law, replacing current law.

Arizona lawmakers have agreed on a bipartisan bill supported by Gov. Katie Hobbs that will give more time for automatic vote recount.

House Bill 2785 is expected to be signed by Gov. Hobbs, who told NBC News, “While this legislation isn’t perfect, it’s the result of hard-fought compromises from everyone involved. Arizonans can rest assured that their voices will be heard and that our elections will run free of political interference.”

The bill was prompted by warnings that new automatic recount rules could prevent Arizona’s Electoral College votes from being counted by the deadline for the Jan. 6 count.

The bill’s purpose is to allow election workers to have more time to count ballots by moving the state’s primary from August to July while giving more time for overseas and military voters to cast their votes. 

Senate President Warren Peterson, a Republican, told AZCentral that he’s “happy to say Arizona will deliver its electors on time.”

The Senate voted 24-2, while the House voted 56-2.

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Ninety lawmakers voted “no,” with four of those being Republicans, AZCentral reported.

Republicans had to make several compromises, such as surrendering a proposal to allow for high schools to function as a polling place if requested by election officials, which would have involved teachers being present, a proposal Democrats were against.

Given allegations of voter fraud presented in the 2020 election, some Republicans called for and were granted policies to bolster confidence in the elections.

Some of these provisions were previously vetoed by Gov. Hobbs, AZCentral reported.

Republican Provisions

One of the leading provisions is making signature verification guidelines state law, replacing current law that puts the observing of those guidelines in the hands of the secretary of state.

Republicans won a provision to give political parties daily reports during early voting on potentially compromised ballots.

This would allow for those parties to conduct ballot chasing in which parties contact voters to ask them to correct their signatures.

“There is no complaint that I heard more, or more vociferously from our grassroots than that this body did not use its leverage to get election integrity signed into law,” said bill sponsor Republican Rep. Alexander Kolodin. “Today, we remedy that,” adding that it’s been the Republicans themselves, not the Democrats, who have obstructed GOP reforms because of their refusal to compromise.

“We have acted like crabs in a bucket, letting the perfect be the enemy of the good,” Kolodin said.

Democrat Rep. Laura Terech celebrated the bipartisan effort.

“In such a divisive, heated environment, it is refreshing that we can come together,” she said.

‘Inconsequential Nothingness’

Republican Sens. Anthony Kern and Jake Hoffman, as well as Republican Reps. Barbara Parker and Jacqueline Parker objected to the legislation. 

Robert Bowes, a former President Donald Trump appointee to the Federal Housing Administration, criticized the bill on X, calling it “inconsequential nothingness.”

“It’s deck chairs being reorganized while the major vulnerabilities are ignored,” he said, adding that “the hype will be merited” when more rigid voting legislation is put in place such as “one day, in-person elections with strict voter ID on paper ballots hand counted at the precincts.”

“Arizona elections are already lawless,” he said. “What makes you think Maricopa will comply with an update on signature verification when you don’t even hold them accountable to comply with current law?”

Maricopa County has seen significant controversy over signature verification.

Kari Lake, who alleges that she lost her gubernatorial race against Gov. Hobbs because of voter fraud, stated the ruling in which she said she has “the utmost confidence that we will win our lawsuit to review the early ballot signatures later this month.”

“Maricopa County’s complete abandonment of signature verification standards has allowed for the integrity of our elections to be washed away,” she said in the statement. “Election laws aren’t suggestions or guidelines. They’re the law.”

Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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