Arizona Must Reform Election Laws After Maricopa Ballot Debate

If Arizona is really interested in enacting much-needed statewide election reform, and it should be, especially after this month’s voting debacle in Maricopa County, the state’s largest, it’s now or never. Or at least for the next four to eight years.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, must call a special session of the legislature to implement voting reforms before Gov.-elect, Democrat Kathy Hobbs, takes office on Jan. 2. – will definitely not be received after that.

(Hobbs leads Republican challenger Kari Lake by 0.6 1%, or 17,150 votes, out of more than 2.55 million votes cast. The race has been tipped in favor of the Democrat by the news media, but Lake has yet to win.)

“The way they run elections in Maricopa County is worse than any banana republic in the world,” Lake was quoted as saying by London’s Daily Mail. “At the end of the day, I believe it will come back.”

The Daily Mail reported that Arizona Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright on Nov. 19 told a top Maricopa County election official that she “detailed reports of a series of irregularities, from printer problems that stopped ballots from being tabulated to confusion over procedures for transferring voters to alternate elections. if the sites fail to vote first.”

Wright’s letter added: “These complaints go beyond mere speculation, but contain first-hand witness testimony that raises concerns about Maricopa’s legal compliance with Arizona election law.”

All of this comes after The Epoch Times reported on Nov. 7 that “19,000 late, invalid ballots were counted” in Maricopa County in the 2020 election.

Arizona Senate Majority Leader Rick Gray and House Speaker Russell Bowers, both Republicans, are expected to press Ducey for a special session. GOP members of the state’s congressional delegation, Representatives Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis—where Arizona has no problem despite having an electorate three times that of Arizona—could provide the Grand Canyon State with model election reform legislative language to fit its needs.

Any electoral reform legislative package should include some combination of the following:

  1. Increase the severity of the penalty for the corrupt practice of ballot collection, which is currently only a Class 6 felony, the least serious crime in the state.
  2. Abolish all ballot boxes designed to accommodate a one-time emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic, and will never be a permanent feature of the electoral landscape.
  3. Ask for a photo ID. (Many alternative forms of ID are currently allowed, many of which do not require a photo.)
  4. Significantly shortened the window for early voting in Arizona, which currently begins 27 days before Election Day. Election day is not election month, it should be. Early voting should not last more than a week, because the longer the period, the more time there is for fraud.
  5. Eliminate mail-in ballots called Active Early Voting Lists, which allow voters to register for a mail-in ballot that will be automatically mailed to them for each election. This is a recipe for mail-in ballots to voters who have moved or died, allowing orphan ballots to be filled out and returned by someone else.
  6. Severely limit most mail-in and absentee voting options except in cases where they are traditionally used, such as when the voter is out of town or sick. They should not be allowed just for convenience. (France banned postal voting in 1975 because of its propensity for fraud.)
  7. Requiring the last four digits of a voter’s Social Security number or the serial number of a voter’s driver’s license or state-issued voter ID card is an art at best, and signature matching is not a science, as is security for unauthorized ballots. Matching Social Security and state ID numbers would also be faster and more accurate.
  8. Require the secretary of state, who is running for re-election or another position by law, to waive election supervision. Lake repeatedly urged Secretary of State Hobbs to do so during the campaign, citing a conflict of interest, but indefensible refused.

Such common sense electoral reforms do not prevent any eligible person from voting.

No doubt the Democrats (and the liberal media) will howl, but so what? If the situation were reversed, they would be the first to demand reforms.

As for doing it in a lame-duck session, it’s no different than what we’ve seen in Washington, where Democrats in Congress are now trying to get away with codifying same-sex marriage and other leftist legislation. home

There is no filibuster in Arizona’s Senate, which Republicans narrowly control, so Democrats won’t be able to block election reform, assuming all Republicans are on board.

The GOP message should be that election reform is necessary to prevent a future repeat of the Maricopa fiasco.

“[W]we will restore integrity to our elections,” Lake promised The Daily Mail, insisting he would win.

But if Lake doesn’t actually win, the window of opportunity to restore electoral integrity will soon close, so Republicans in the Arizona Legislature must move swiftly and unapologetically to make these changes, making it easier to vote and harder to vote. .

This article originally appeared in The Washington Times.

Do you have an opinion about this article? To remain silent, email and we’ll consider publishing your edited notes in our regular We Hear You feature. Don’t forget to include the url or title of the article, plus your name, city and/or state.