By Arizona Representative Shawnna Bolick
Today, after nine months of waiting for the report on the Arizona Senate’s audit of Maricopa County, Arizona voters got answers – and more questions.
One thing was clear from the report. There are gaps and loopholes in Arizona’s election laws. These gaps must be filled and Arizona’s election laws must be brought to an unimpeachable standard of integrity.
As a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, I introduced multiple pieces of legislation in the last session that would have addressed the missing accountability and oversight identified in the report. When I proposed these bold bills, I took a lot of flak from the left. The report now makes it clear – we need those changes, and more.
I sponsored a bill establishing a chain of custody and implementing robust oversight measures, including public reporting of duplicated ballots and a county’s reasoning of a voter’s intent, electronic display of ballots being counted, and live video feed of counting centers with heavy penalties for disruption of the feed. The bill must be re-introduced. I sponsored another bill limiting the use of emergency voting centers, a tool frequently abused by Recorder Fontes. This bill must be re-introduced. I attended multiple cyber security briefings before and after the 2020 election and have frequently said that machines that can be connected to the internet should not be used in the voting context. By nature, they are susceptible to manipulation, as the report makes clear.
Secretary Hobbs behaved in a way unfitting for the office. As your Secretary of State, I commit to interpreting our laws in a way that strengthens the security of our voter registration and election processes rather than exploiting weaknesses in the law to favor my political agenda. Election integrity starts at the top.
Finally, the patchwork of laws and processes across counties likely resulted in additional irregularities. I call on the Arizona Senate to finish the job it started and complete an audit of the entire state. We need a full picture.
The work to put our elections above reproach has just begun and I will continue to lead the charge.