Arizona’s Attorney General Causes Alarm with Strong Warning to Counties on Hand-Counted Ballots

In a surprising turn of events, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has sent a threatening letter to counties across the state.

The letter, issued earlier this month, warns of potential prosecution if the counties adhere to a recently passed resolution that bans the use of foreign-made and non-compliant voting machines. This action has sparked outrage and controversy, with many questioning the motives behind such a bold move.

The newly passed Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 1037, approved by both the Arizona House and Senate, clearly outlines the new standards for voting machines.

According to the resolution, no voting system or component, including firmware software or hardware, can be used as the primary method for casting, recording, and tabulating ballots in any federal election unless it meets specific criteria. These criteria include being designed, manufactured, integrated, and assembled in the United States by trusted suppliers using trusted processes accredited by the Defense Microelectronics Activity as prescribed by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Furthermore, the source code used in any computerized voting machine for federal elections must be made available to the public. The ballot images and system log files from each tabulator must be recorded on a secure write-once, read-many media with a clear chain of custody and posted on the Secretary of State’s website free of charge to the public within 24 hours after the close of the polls.

Despite these clear guidelines, Mayes has chosen to challenge the resolution. In her letter, she falsely claims that Arizona law requires votes to be counted by “automatic tabulating equipment.” However, ARS 16-621 allows for manual counting of ballots when using machines becomes impracticable. The resolution establishes the new standards for security and practicability.

Arizona’s current law does not mandate the use of electronic voting machines; it only permits their use.

This blatant disregard for the law has drawn sharp criticism from various sources. Arizona State Senator Sonny Borelli responded to Mayes’ threat with a dismissive “HAHAHA.” He further clarified, “Electronic voting systems are not mandated by statute to be used in Arizona. If you don’t use them, how else would you count votes?”

The legislature also passed SB1074, which set the same requirements for electronic voting machines, but the bill was vetoed by Katie Hobbs, who is accused of winning her election through faulty machines when 59% of them failed on Election Day.

This ongoing situation has raised serious concerns about the integrity of the electoral process in Arizona.

This article appeared in StatesmanPost and has been published here with permission.