As a pivotal election year approaches, Arizona Republican legislators are still working to strengthen election integrity and security across the state.
Last week, Arizona State Representative Jacqueline Parker and State Senator Wendy Rogers sent a joint press release to “announce their firm commitment to rectify issues arising from conflicting federal and state deadlines in the forthcoming elections.”
The legislators shared that the genesis of their concerns lies with a 2022 law, SB 1008, which “elevated the automatic recount threshold from an arbitrary, below national average margin of 200 votes, to a standard of less than one-half of 1-percent (0.5 percent),” adding that “this change brought Arizona in alignment with several states, including Florida, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.”
SB 1008 may have passed out of both legislative chambers with broad bipartisan support, as Parker and Rogers noted in their release, but it does not appear to be a perfect fix to the issues that lawmakers were attempting to resolve, hence the reason for the push to provide a patch for this bill. In commentary with their release, the two legislators wrote, “As the state approaches the next election cycle, an increased incidence of automatic recounts, expected as a result from the change in law, poses a potential challenge to counties in meeting certain deadlines.”
Both legislators issued statements to accompany their announcement. Parker said, “This challenge presents us with a unique opportunity to correct the underlying problems that have plagued Arizona elections, rather than approach it as a temporary band-aid fix that fails to move us forward.” Rogers said, “A true legislative fix will provide clarity, promote transparency, and will save taxpayer dollars.”
In a follow-up release later that day, Parker revealed that the legislators had met with stakeholders, wasting no time in starting the process of fixing the holes from the bill. Parker stated, “We hosted the first of many stakeholder meetings today to hear from the boots on the ground who are in the thick of administering our elections, as well as legal experts. We want to make sure we have in-depth conversations with these stakeholders, so that we can identify the proper fix needed to strengthen the integrity of our elections and the confidence voters have when they cast their ballots.”