In an unexpected move that left many advocates of election transparency bewildered, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors (Arizona) yesterday voted against a proposal to institute hand counting for future elections. The proposal, supported by Supervisors Ron Gould and Hildy Angius (who is currently running for Arizona State Senate), was intended to increase the reliability and verifiability of voting results. Arizona State Senators Sonny Borrelli and Wendy Rogers led the charge to return to hand counting. Watch Borrelli explain the plan in a previous appearance on RVM Network. You can watch part of the interview below.

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The plan received wide support from Arizona legislators, including AZ House Representative John Gillette.

Watch Arizona State Senators Wendy Rogers and Sonny Borrelli speak to the Board of Supervisors in June about the proposal.

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Mohave County Elections Director Allen Tempert presented a report claiming the hand count would cost approximately $1.1 million, which was disputed by many who support the proposal.  Included in the alleged cost was over $750,000 in “labor” and approximately $100,000 for the venue. Supporters point out the hundreds of volunteers who stepped forward to count without being compensated, and the fact the $100,000 venue question is the county fairgrounds which the county owns.

It’s important to note the proposal was not to force the county into a permanent hand count, but provide an opportunity to a trial-run in 2024.

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Senator Borrelli testified before the Mohave County Board of Supervisors, “This is not about Trump or Biden, Hobbs or Lake, this is a national security concern for me. If you lose an election, you lose an election – If you lose it fairly … Tempert runs a tight ship, and I’m not questioning his integrity or his staff. I’m questioning the system itself.”

Regrettably, three Republican members of the board – Buster Johnson, Jean Bishop, and Travis Lingenfelter – voted against the proposal, effectively quashing an opportunity to ensure greater transparency in the electoral process. This decision contradicts growing demands for meticulous election auditing across the nation, especially in a time when confidence in the integrity of the electoral process is paramount.

The proposal for hand counts aimed to bring more transparency and restore public confidence in the voting process by enabling a physical verification of the ballots. However, the majority of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors rejected this attempt to bolster election security. It’s an action that some may view as running counter to the principle of democratic transparency.

This refusal to support a robust, meticulous process to verify voting results raises questions about the board’s commitment to ensuring election transparency. Despite the setback, Supervisors Gould and Angius, who advocated for the hand count, continue to stand firm in their belief that every possible measure should be taken to ensure the authenticity and transparency of election results in Mohave County.

As many counties across the nation strive to enhance their election integrity, it is disheartening to see the Mohave County Board of Supervisors dismissing a proposal that would ensure a transparent, hand-counted verification of election results. It remains to be seen if the board will reconsider its stance or continue to ignore the calls for greater transparency and hand counting in future elections.

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