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Tags: election | midterms | election law | signature verification | mail-in ballots | voting | arizona

Arizonans Move to Just the Facts on Voting With Proposition 309

By    |   Wednesday, 02 November 2022 02:17 PM EDT

Most voters are not focused on the 2020 election results or abortion laws in the upcoming election. As Kimberley Strassel wrote in a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal: "What is real to voters is soaring inflation and energy prices, unsettling levels of crime, and an unchecked border."

However, in the 2024 election, integrity will be back in the political limelight as more states pass new election laws in 2023. Democrats will continue to claim voter suppression – Jim Crow 2.0, another lie.

In 2020, there were six states that did not report election results in a timely manner, while 44 states did.

Arizona was one of the states that had a difficult time counting the mail-in ballots and announcing election results. In 2022, the voters have a chance to address some of the problems from the 2020 election by voting yes on Proposition 309.

The proposition requires additional voter information to be provided for Ballot-by-Mail on a printed affidavit with a signature confirming the voter is registered to vote in Arizona under the penalty of perjury.

The affidavit will be inserted into the envelope instead of on the outside of the envelope to protect their identity.

Republican candidates for public office support Proposition 309, while Democrat candidates oppose it.

In Arizona, as in many other states, voter identification must be provided at polling locations to get a ballot to vote. A photo ID or two forms of non-photo ID are required (A.R.S. 16-579). Voting is a state right and essentially every time a voter votes, his or her ID is reconfirmed. This is not the case for Ballot-by-Mail whether mailed or dropped off. The only requirement is one's signature on the envelope (A,R.S. 16-547).

Under Arizona law, questionable signatures on Ballot-by-Mail envelopes received are checked by the county election officials through communicating with the voters before the ballot is removed from the envelope. This is a time-consuming curing process: however, they have up to five business days after the election to cure Ballot-by-Mail signatures and provisional ballots. If not cured, they should not be counted.

During the Senate Audit of Maricopa County 2020 election, we identified potentially over 200,000 envelopes with signatures that did not meet the county's signature verification requirements and needed to be cured but were not cured and still counted. The ballots removed from the uncured envelopes and counted would be considered illegal votes.

In determining this finding, our audit team followed the county's signature proofing procedures. We used three professional signature experts as well as three Arizona citizens to check the signatures. This is very conservative compared to the county's procedure of only two checking the signature. All six of our checkers had to agree an envelope signature needed to be reviewed and cured before the ballot was removed from the envelope and counted as a vote.

The one variation we had from the county procedure is they refused to provide us with the official elector (voter) registration signatures. We were able to get official signatures from other official documents filed with the County Treasurer's office to use as a basis for checking.

This does not mean they were necessarily illegal votes; however, we will never know because once a ballot is removed from the envelope, there is no way to reconnect the ballot to the envelope. Based on the audit, the Arizona Revised Statute for signature verification (A.R.S. 16-550) was not followed in the 2020 election by the Maricopa County Recorder, Adrian Fontes, who is now running as the Democrat candidate for Arizona Secretary of State on Nov. 8.

Democrats are constantly saying Proposal 309 is a form of voter suppression and supported by "election deniers." This is simply not true. The goal is to make sure mail-in ballots use the same procedures for voter identification that is used with in-person voting. Tightening up these procedures will create confidence Arizona's voting system is fair and secure. A vote yes will make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.

(Mr. Pullen is a former Arizona Republican National Chairman and Treasurer of the Republican National Committee who also served as Arizona Senate Liaison for the Maricopa County 2020 Election Audit).

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Most voters are not focused on the 2020 election results or abortion laws in the upcoming election.
election, midterms, election law, signature verification, mail-in ballots, voting, arizona, proposition 309
Wednesday, 02 November 2022 02:17 PM
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