A number of election integrity bills addressing ballot boxes and ballot harvesting failed to pass the Senate on Monday.
“If you think it’s a problem. If you think ballot boxes contribute to ballot harvesting and can be manipulated, you would ban them. Not require that we tape them. It’s too late at that point,” said State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale) while explaining her floor amendment to HB 2238.
According to HB 2238, sponsored by State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Phoenix), “a county recorder or other officer in charge of elections may not use an unmonitored drop box for receipt of voted early ballots.”
However, the Ugenti-Rita floor amendment would ban ballot boxes, outright. Her justification is that if ballot boxes present an integrity problem, then the best course of action is to ban them rather than do a better job monitoring them.
With a vote of 8 ayes and 21 nays, the Ugenti-Rita floor amendment failed.
Moreover, with a vote of 14 ayes and 15 nays, the Senate failed to pass the bill.
State Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), the primary sponsor of both bills, told The Arizona Sun Times that a bill needs 50 percent-plus one – or 16 out of 30 votes – pass through the state senate.
However, two election integrity bills did win approval by the state’s upper chamber.
HB 2236, sponsored by Hoffman, addresses an organization registering an individual to vote.
“An agency, department or division of this state or any person acting on its behalf and any political subdivision of this state or any person acting on its behalf may not register a person to vote unless the person affirmatively requests to register to vote,” according to the bill.
With a vote of 16 ayes and 13 nays, the bill passed. The Senate will transmit the bill to the Arizona House.
HB 2617, sponsored by State Rep. Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale), provides more information on when a county recorder can cancel a voter’s registration, such as when an individual receives a driver’s license from another state.
With a vote of 16 ayes and 13 nays, the Senate passed the bill. The Senate will transmit the bill to the Arizona House.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Michelle Ugenti-Rita” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 3.0. Background Photo “Ballot Drop Box” by Paul Sableman. CC BY 2.0.