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Arizona County Refuses Request to Hand Count Ballots

An Arizona judge blocked Arizona county’s plan to hand count ballots for today’s election. The request to manually count the votes was made by Republican officials due to distrust of voter machines.

A hearing was held all day Friday with witness accounts. Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey F. McGinley 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,” AP news reported.

The group Alliance for Retired Americans opposed the hand count saying “state law only allows a small hand-count of early ballots to ensure the counting machines are accurate.” The group said making a change so close to the election could cause delays in the results.

Cochise County Elections Director Lisa Marra opposed the hand count for the same reason. She said a hand count of votes could delay certification, in a worse case scenario, to January of 2023.

Though the lawsuit challenged the full hand count of 30,000 votes expected to come into Arizona county. However, the ruling blocked both the hand counting of early ballots and ballots cast on election day.

Due to the random selection method used to determine which ballots get hand counted, the judge wrote counting them all is unlawful.

“Because the Board’s directive would require the initial audit of approximately 30,000 early ballots, it is not permitted by the plain language of (the law),” McGinley said.

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