by MARY LOU MASTERS at dailycaller.com
Mohave County, Arizona, voted Wednesday against hand-counting ballots for the 2024 election, according to NBC News.
The proposal, intended to bolster election integrity, was voted down 3-2 by the county Board of Supervisors, NBC News reported. The five-member Republican board voted against the measure, citing the cost associated with hand-counting ballots in 2024 as well as concerns over the validity of results.
“I’m willing to have further conversations about this, but the first thing that we have to do in Mohave County in good conscious is to balance the budget. You can’t talk about any other spending when you have 18 — 20 million dollar deficit,” Republican board member Travis Lingenfelter told NBC News ahead of the vote. “That’s irresponsible.”
The decision came after months of disagreement, a trial period and legal concerns, as well as determining it would cost over $1 million to hand-count the ballots next year, according to NBC News.
The county held a three-day trial for hand-counting in June, where workers sorted through 850 test ballots from the 2022 midterms and which resulted in errors in 46 out of 30,600 races, according to NBC News. To avoid such miscellaneous tallying mistakes, like handwriting, tiredness and saying the wrong candidate’s name, the county would need to hire more staff over a longer period of time.
Republicans in the state have pushed for election integrity measures following the 2020 election, including an audit for two races that cycle and the GOP-held legislature passing a hand-counting measure this year that was later vetoed by Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, according to NBC News. Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes wrote a letter to the board warning of legal implications after they requested the elections office write up a plan for hand-counting the 2024 ballots.
The Mohave Board of Supervisors did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.read more