Currently, Pima and Maricopa counties must maintain daily updated lists of those who have turned in early ballots if requested by state or county party chairpersons. Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, wants to expand that requirement to all counties, saying it can be difficult to obtain early ballot information in a timely manner from election officials in rural Arizona. Her bill, HB 2427, won a unanimous endorsement Monday from the House Elections Committee, despite a representative for counties saying the change would be burdensome. It was heading to the House floor by way of the Rules Committee.
Barton acknowledged that she doesn’t know how much it would cost counties to provide the reports daily. “Whether it’s hiring some interns during that limited cycle, to bring them in and train them to do all sorts of things, I think there’s an answer to get some of this information available,” she said.
A 2009 law requires counties with populations of more than 800,000 to provide requesting party chairpersons with daily lists of voters who have returned early ballots. The requirement is in effect from the first Monday after early voting begins until the Monday before an election.
Jennifer Marson, executive director of Arizona Association of Counties, said that the other 13 counties might have difficulty complying with the proposed requirement. She said election officials already are scrambling to send early ballots to those who request them within the 48 hours required by law.