Here are some of the election law changes sought by disgruntled Arizona Republicans – Arizona Daily Star
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PHOENIX — President Biden’s victory in Arizona in November has left some Republican lawmakers not just grumbling, but trying to change election laws.
Several of the measures are aimed at the early ballot process, one criticized by former President Donald Trump as an invitation to cheat.
For example, Senate Bill 1503, sponsored by Sen. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, would continue to allow people to request an early ballot by mail. But the voter would have to return it to a polling place in person, ending the convenience of being able to drop it in the mail.
Sending it with someone else is not an option, as a 2016 law pushed through by GOP lawmakers makes it a felony to return someone else’s ballot, with only a few exceptions for family members and caregivers.
Rep. Kevin Payne, R-Peoria, would preserve the ability to mail back ballots. But his House Bill 2369 would require a voter to seek out a notary to witness the legally required signature on the envelope.
Payne has since acknowledged the practical problems with that. But he told Capitol Media Services he is looking for other solutions, like requiring voters to send a photocopy of a driver’s license.
Payne also is seeking to void the permanent early voting list, which allows individuals to automatically get an early ballot every election without having to make repeated requests.
Townsend has several other proposals, including requiring that voters who go to polling places be given a paper receipt to confirm that their ballot has been counted.
She also wants to preclude counties from telling voters the kind of markers they can use, amid concerns that bleed-through might result in some ballots not being counted.
Sen. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, has a plan to increase the mandatory hand count from 2% of a precinct to at least 5%, and allow for certain officials to demand more.
And he wants to allow anyone unhappy with the results to demand a full recount as long as that person is willing to pick up the costs.
Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, has a related measure. It would require an automatic recount if the difference between the top candidates was less than 0.5%, up from 0.1%.
Biden’s 10,457-vote edge over Trump in Arizona was just 0.3%.
Ugenti-Rita has several other election-related proposals, including prohibiting county recorders from conducting voter registration drives or similar events at any location other than a government-owned building.
She also wants a law to spell out that envelopes used for early voting cannot identify someone’s political affiliation.
There’s also a focus on voting equipment, fueled by claims by Trump and his attorney Rudolph Giuliani that hardware and software of Dominion Voting Systems were programmed to steal votes from the incumbent.
Dominion has since filed a defamation lawsuit against Giuliani, seeking damages of more than $1.3 billion.
But the Trump team’s allegations resulted in the state Senate issuing a subpoena to Maricopa County for access to the equipment and the raw ballots.
County supervisors balked, saying they cannot legally release that to outsiders.
So Sen. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, has introduced SB 1408, which would entitle legislators to subpoena any document, even overcoming the presumption of confidentiality that the supervisors have argued forbids them from giving the senators what they want.
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