OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
The GOP-controlled Arizona Legislature has voted to revoke the Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ legal authority in election-related lawsuits, handing that power to the attorney general.
The measure was included in major budget legislation, including several actions revolving around the election.
It now goes to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who has the power to accept or reject individual parts of the measure.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich has sparred with Hobbs before over election lawsuits.
Brnovich recently accused Hobbs of not adequately defending the state against election-related lawsuits.
The bill approved Thursday gives Brnovich’s office exclusive control of such lawsuits, but only through Jan. 2, 2023 — when the winners of the next elections for both offices would be about to take power.
Appropriations Committee votes to strip Secretary of State Katie Hobbs of roles https://t.co/mZrtxdWjwB
— Trump's Deplorable Army (@Trumpy0) June 28, 2021
Arizona was arguably one of the most important states in the 2020 presidential election.
Even seven months later, a battle is on to audit and examine just what went on in November in the battleground state.
The Republican legislature of the state never wants that to happen again and they just made a big move.
The Arizona House passed two bills aimed at securing their elections.
The first requires election officials to hand over records to prosecutors.
The second raises the threshold of auto recounts to 0.5 percentage points.
The Associated Press reported:
Arizona House Republicans advanced a measure requiring election officials to give prosecutors records of mail ballots that get rejected because the signature doesn’t match the one on file.
Mail voting accounts for the overwhelming majority of ballots cast in Arizona. County officials verify they’re valid by matching a signature on the ballot envelope to those on file from voter registration forms, driver’s license records and previous elections.
If the signature seems off, officials work to contact the voter, who has five days after the election to resolve the issue. Ballots not resolved are not counted.
The AP report added:
The measure, SB1241, would require county election officials to give a variety of information from those ballots to the county attorney or attorney general, including the signatures from the ballot envelope and those on file and the voter’s contact information.
Meanwhile, House Republicans also voted to raise the threshold for an automatic recount of an election to 0.5 percentage points.
Under the current standard, recalls are triggered for most statewide races when the margin is fewer than 200 votes.
Both measures still need approval in the Senate.
Many have been arguing for months that the election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, could pave the way for many other states to follow.
Maricopa County has completed the hand counting of 2,089,563 ballots.
Now, the remaining paper evaluation process will be finished by next week.
“At our current rate of examining over 100k ballots per day, we will complete the paper examination phase of the audit by Saturday, June 26,” the Maricopa Arizona Audit’s official Twitter account tweeted.
At our current rate of examining over 100k ballots per day, we will complete the paper examination phase of the audit by Saturday, June 26.
— Maricopa Arizona Audit (@ArizonaAudit) June 16, 2021
Arizona GOP Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward recently provided a major update on the audit and what comes next.
Last week, it was revealed that a whopping nine state delegations will tour the Maricopa County audit facility on Friday.
Ward, who threatened that there “could be arrests of people who are refusing to comply,” says the audit could be completed much sooner than expected.