An Arizona senator demanded all counties stop how they count ballots. Here’s why they won’t listen

Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli

Mary Jo Pitzl

Arizona Republic

A Republican leader in the Arizona Senate is demanding that counties cease using current tabulation machines to count ballots, citing a recently passed legislative resolution. But the move has no legal foundation and his argument was criticized even by some Republican colleagues.

Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, wrote letters to county leaders statewide that claim “no electronic voting systems” may be used “as the primary method for conducting, counting, tabulating or verifying federal elections” unless the systems meet requirements set in a recent resolution passed by the Legislature.

Yet those requirements have no force of law, something that elections officials statewide quickly pointed out.

Secretary of State Adrian Fontes said Borrelli is relying on a non-binding resolution passed earlier this year with Republican-only support. The resolution, which did not require a signature from the governor, does not have the authority to change state and federal rules for election equipment, Fontes said in a statement.

Clint Hickman, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said a single member of the Senate can’t force Arizona’s counties to forego the use of tabulators to count votes.

And Borrelli’s GOP colleagues at the Senate don’t agree with his demand.


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