The Arizona state Senate Government Committee on Monday passed seven bills dealing with combating voter fraud. One of the biggest priorities in the Arizona Legislature this year is election integrity, due to concerns about fraud in the 2020 Arizona presidential election.
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward, who has been one of the strongest proponents of cleaning up election fraud, including helping get an audit launched into the Maricopa County 2020 election, told The Arizona Sun Times, “It is encouraging to see our state legislators taking action and focusing on election integrity. The objective information from the Arizona Audit — America’s Audit — is showing us the way to make voting more secure. These bills are yet another reason why the full forensic audit was justified.”
Valerie Grosso-Turley, the founder of the grassroots Arizona-based America Pack, told The Sun Times, “America Pack supports the legislators who are working for the people to ensure every Arizona voter has confidence in the integrity of our elections. We support voting in precincts, fraud-proof security paper ballots, scrubbing voter rolls before each election, voter I.D, and ‘dumb’ tabulation machines.”
SB 1012, sponsored by State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Apache Junction), who chairs the committee, directs the Arizona Legislature to choose an expert to provide a report on voter registration list maintenance, to ensure the regular purging of invalid voters.
SB 1013, also sponsored by Townsend, directs the Arizona Secretary of State to submit a request to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission requesting that Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship requirement be placed on the state’s federal voter registration forms.
SB 1054, another bill from Townsend, requires the secretary of state’s election equipment review committee to conduct a detailed security review of election equipment every two years.
SB 1120, sponsored by State Sen. Sonny Borelli (R-Lake Havasu), along with 14 co-sponsors, requires ballots to contain 19 anti-fraud measures, including tracking by individual voter code number. During the hearing, Borelli stated, “Any illegal ballot that gets injected into the system suppresses a legal vote.”
SB 1119, another bill sponsored by Borelli, which has five co-sponsors, makes ballot images public records. Former Democratic Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes supports the bill. One member of the public who requested to speak expressed concern that there was no way to determine after voting whether their vote was tabulated correctly. While some of the county recorders provide proof afterward that a voter’s ballot was received and counted, they do not reveal how the person voted.
SB 1133, sponsored by Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff), bans mail-in ballots by cities, towns and school districts. According to election fraud experts, the vast majority of ballot fraud takes place with mail-in ballots. Many jurisdictions are moving to 100% mail-in-ballots, prompting former Phoenix mayoral candidate Merissa Hamilton to state during the hearing, “Not being able to vote in person is voter suppression.”
SB 1008, sponsored by State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale), changes the threshold that triggers an automatic recount, from a margin of 0.1 percentage points to 0.5 points.
Leading gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, testified in support of the bills. She discussed problems she had voting. “This last election was shady,” she said. “It was shoddy, it was corrupt, and our vote was taken from us. I’m a citizen. I feel my vote was taken. I was handed a ballot and the Sharpie that was given to me bled right through, so I believe my vote may have been adjudicated. Somebody else decided who I voted for and that’s unacceptable.”
The independent Maricopa County ballot audit found significant numbers of bleed-throughs. It also found other serious issues from the 2020 presidential election, and the report was turned over to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to review. Maricopa County officials responded earlier this month to the audit, leaving more questions than answers.
A Rasmussen Reports survey from October found that 56% believe voter fraud affected the 2020 presidential election. That’s an increase from six months earlier, when 51% believed fraud was involved.
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