Experts call for federal monitors of Arizona Senate election audit, citing violations of voting laws

Former lawmaker and November candidate helps with recount of ballots

azaudit.or/screengrab

By Robert Anglen | Arizona Republic

Election security specialists with high-powered policy groups are calling for federal monitors to oversee the Arizona Senate’s hand recount of 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County.

Citing violations of voting and election laws, representatives of the Brennan Center for Justice, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Protect Democracy urged the Department of Justice to protect ballots and prevent voter intimidation.

“Ballots that are protected under federal law are in imminent danger of being stolen, defaced, or irretrievably damaged, and Arizona citizens are in imminent danger of being subject to unlawful voter intimidation,”  the four security specialists wrote in the April 29 letter. 

The Senate and private contractors hired to conduct the recount failed to ensure the physical security of ballots by keeping doors unlocked and allowing unauthorized persons to access the ballot storage facility at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the specialists wrote.

“We believe that the Senate and its agents … are violating their duty under federal law to retain and preserve ballots cast in a federal election,” the specialists wrote. “They also risk compromising the integrity of the ballots themselves, using materials and technologies that will cause the ballot paper and marks to deteriorate.”

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