Governor Hobbs signed a bipartisan election bill, HB2785, on February 9, 2024. The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Alex Kolodin (R3) with overwhelming bipartisan support, corrects the “unintended” election deadline issues resulting from a 2022 law originally intended to do the same. That law also passed with bipartisan support. HB2785 adds and amends multiple rules regarding voting timing, aligning Arizona with the US Congressional Bill dubbed the Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022.
The bill addressed a variety of issues, including:
- Requiring county boards to meet and canvass the election results on the third Thursday after the election, shortening the timeline for this post-election process;
- Requiring the Secretary of State to perform the state canvass no later than the third Monday after the election;
- Specifying a timeline for initiation of a recount by requiring the Secretary to certify facts to the Maricopa County Superior Court within 24 hours of the last county canvass or the last day allowed for county canvass, whichever is earlier;
- Requiring that “logic and accuracy” testing on the tabulators to be used in the recount take place within two calendar days after the court orders the recount;
- Requiring the use of electronic transmission for canvass results to the Secretary of State, speeding up the process;
- Allowing hand recounts and machine tabulation recounts to be conducted simultaneously, saving valuable time in the recount timeline.
In a February 8, 2024, press release, Senate Elections Committee Chair Wendy Rogers stated, “This legislation is a major win for Arizona voters and important in restoring voter confidence in election integrity. After months of painstaking discussions among lawmakers, election experts, administrators, county officials, and the executive branch, I’m proud we were able to craft a commonsense solution that all 15 Arizona counties support. It will ensure our service members abroad will have their votes counted on election day, and moreover, it will enable us to accurately determine the winner sooner rather than later.”
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