Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

What Changes Should Arizona Make to Their Elections?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the constitutional right to vote given to all citizens aged 18 years and over. In 2020, there were many questions about the election system, and conservatives are accused of being “election deniers.” However, the 2022 election also showed problems with the election system in Arizona. The 2022 mid-term election was held on November 8, but the election in Arizona has not yet been certified.

Peter Parisi at The Daily Signal recently claimed that it was time for Arizona to get its act together IF the state “is genuinely interested in enacting much-needed state election reforms.” He suggested that Term-limited outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, should call a lame-duck special session of the Legislature for the sole purpose of enacting voting reforms before the presumptive governor-elect, Democrat Katie Hobbs, can take office on Jan. 2” because it will not get done by her administration. 

At the present time, Hobbs leads Republican “Kari Lake by 0.6 of 1%, or 17,150 votes, out of more than 2.55 million counted.” Although the news media called the election for Hobbs, Lake has not yet conceded. In fact, Lake has filed a lawsuit or two against the Maricopa County election board. In addition, Arizona Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright notified Maricopa County’s top election officials that she wanted detailed reports on why there were so many problems with voting on election day.

After the State of Florida had problems counting the “hanging chads” during the 2000 presidential election, Florida reworked their election laws. In 2022, Florida had several times more votes to count than did Arizona, but Florida had their votes counted and reported about five hours after the polls closed. Thus, Florida could probably give Arizona some help in reworking election laws. Parisi stated that any “election-reform legislative package should include some combination of the following:

1. Increase the severity of punishment for the inherently corrupt practice of ballot-harvesting, which is currently only a Class 6 felony, the least severe type of felony in the state. 

2. Eliminate all ballot drop boxes, which were supposedly intended to accommodate a one-time emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic, and never meant to be a permanent feature of the electoral landscape. 

3. Require photo identification. (Currently, there are too many alternative forms of ID allowed, many not requiring a photo.) 

4. Significantly shorten the window for early voting, which currently begins in Arizona 27 days before Election Day. Election Day should be just that, not Election Month. Early voting shouldn’t run for more than a week, because the longer the period is, the more time there is to cheat. 

5. Eliminate so-called Active Early Voting List mail-out ballots, which allows voters to sign up for a mail ballot to automatically be sent to them for every election. That’s a prescription for ballots to be mailed to voters who have moved or died, which creates an opening for orphaned ballots to be filled out and returned by someone else. 

6. Sharply curtail most mail-in and absentee-voting options, except where they have traditionally been used, such as when the voter is out of town or ill. They should not be allowed merely for convenience. (France banned voting by mail in 1975 because of its propensity for fraud.) 

7. Require the last four digits of a voter’s Social Security number or the serial number of the voter’s driver’s license or state-issued voter-ID card as a safeguard on allowed absentee ballots, rather than just signature-matching, which is at best an art and not a science. Matching Social Security and state ID numbers would also be much faster and more accurate.

8. Require by law a sitting secretary of state running for reelection or for another office to recuse himself or herself from election supervision. Lake repeatedly called on Secretary of State Hobbs to do so during the campaign, citing conflict of interest, but indefensibly, she refused to do so.  

Hobbs will not rework the election process, but Lake promises to do so if the election turns in her favor. Whoever eventually becomes the Governor of Arizona, they need to do something. The residents of Arizona and the citizens of the United States deserve better treatment that currently happens in Arizona.

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