Arizona County’s Plan To Hand-Count Ballots Blocked By Judge

by | Nov 8, 2022 | Politics

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge on Monday blocked a rural Arizona county’s plan to conduct a full hand-count of ballots from the current election — a measure requested by Republican officials who expressed unfounded concerns that vote-counting machines are untrustworthy.The ruling from Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey F. McGinley came after a full-day hearing on Friday during which opponents presented their case and called witnesses. An appeal of the judge’s decision is likely. Election Day is Tuesday.AdvertisementMcGinley said the county board of supervisors overstepped its legal authority by ordering the county recorder to count all the ballots cast in the election that concludes on Tuesday rather than the small sample required by state law.The opponents who sued to stop the proposed hand-count — a group called the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans — argued that state law only allows a small hand-count of early ballots to ensure the counting machines are accurate. Group members argued that a last-minute change would create chaos and potentially delay certification of the election results. Cochise County Elections Director Lisa Marra also opposed the plan for the expanded count and testified about how it could delay results and imperil ballot security.The lawsuit only challenged a full hand-count of an estimated 30,000 early ballots, but the ruling went further by blocking hand-counts of both the early ballots and those cast on Election Day.Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, on May 6, 2021. A judge has blocked a rural Arizona county’s plan to hand-count all the ballots in the Nov. 8, 2022, election. AP Photo/Matt York, Pool,FileAdvertisementMcGinley wrote that state election laws lay out a detailed procedure for randomly choosing which Election Day ballots are chosen for the standard hand-count.“This entire process would be rendered superfl …

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