Local political leaders said “nay” Wednesday to a request by the Pima County elections director to call off a hand count to verify the local results of the upcoming Arizona presidential preference election. Brad Nelson asked to cancel the tally because it would take place over Easter weekend. Bill Beard, the chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, blasted the attempt to call off the audit. emailing an evening press release. “I take the constitutional responsibility for over site (sic) of elections in Arizona very seriously,” he wrote in response to Nelson’s request. “The Pima County Republican Party will have the adequate number of people to complete the Presidential Preference Election Hand Count at the appropriately legal time and place.”
Jo M. Holt, the chair of the Pima County Democratic Party, didn’t respond in depth to the issue, but said that the Dems will participate in the hand count.
Although state law requires a hand count of a random sample of precincts after elections, to double-check the machine tally of ballots, a loophole in the statute would allow the county to call off the verification if the two political parties did not nominate members to take part in the count.