Arizona Lawmakers Move to Return to Paper Ballots, Hand Counts

Legislators have given early approval to a bill that would ban the use of voting machines and require the millions of Arizona’s electoral ballots to be counted by hand.

The Senate Government Committee voted along party lines Monday to move forward Senate Bill 1338. Sponsored by Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, the measure would ban the use of electronic voting and electronic or other tabulating devices in any election in Arizona. It also would mandate precinct polling places, forbidding the current system of more consolidated voting centers.

“There is nothing more important than the preservation of our democracy,” Rogers told the committee. “This is brave what we’re trying to do here. We must do this.”

Multiple witnesses said counting more than 3 million ballots across the state in the hours after polls close presents a massive lift. Rogers insisted the state would have plenty of volunteers to do the job.

“They’re willing to go anywhere in the state,” Rogers said. “There would be enough people volunteering around the state to come to your district and mine, if necessary.”

According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, nearly 4 million Arizonans registered to vote before the 2020 general election.

A partisan review of Maricopa County’s 2020 general election entailed months of hand and machine counting of 2.1 million ballots. The review did not count all of Maricopa County’s down-ballot races, opting to count only presidential and U.S. Senate votes.

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(KGUN 9 Tucson) New bill requiring votes to be hand counted makes its way through Arizona Senate

“Senator Wendy Rogers (R) has introduced a new Senate Bill requiring all votes be counted by hand across the Grand Canyon State. S.B. 1338 paper ballots; hand count; precincts would prohibit a county board of supervisors from using voting centers, as well as outlaw electronic voting and tabulating devices not authorized by the Secretary of State. Sen. Rogers clarified she does not expect this to have an impact on Arizona’s General Fund associated with voting.”

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