Arizona Election Officials Report 2,000 Vote Discrepancy in Recent Primary, Predict Delays in November

Maricopa County executive director Zach Schira claimed on Tuesday that recent changes to the state’s elections as a result of a “landmark” election integrity bill that enjoyed overwhelming support in the Arizona Legislature.

Schira told The Arizona Republic that complying with a provision in HB 2785 which requires election workers to count the number of early ballots at each polling location required an average of 30 to 45 minutes at polling locations across the state for the March 19 presidential preference election.

“We’ll likely have three to five times that volume in November,” Schira told the outlet, suggesting the requirement could cause results for the November elections to by delayed by up to three hours.

Schira also told the outlet that poll workers reported 31,174 early ballots across the state, but a machine count of ballots discovered 33,155 early ballots were cast.

State Representative Alex Kolodin (R-Scottsdale) told The Republic he would look into the “weird” discrepancy in vote counts but said changes to the legislation to require counts were better than the alternative.

Kolodin told the outlet he “would much rather know if the count’s off” by waiting “half an hour to 35 minutes to find that out” than have the discrepancy at a later date.

The legislation, which passed the Arizona House with only two votes against it and has since been signed into law by Governor Katie Hobbs, sets standards for signature verification, promotes the use of voter ID in early voting, and corrects previous conflicts in election deadlines.

After the legislation was passed, the Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP) celebrated the law as a win for election integrity. The party highlighted the codified signature verification process, list of mail ballots, “more even playing field during ballot curing,” and fast access to system log files as important elements of the legislation.

Voting AZ by sean hobson is licensed under flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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