The Pima County Board of Supervisors denied a request from its Election Integrity Commission to sort early ballots by precinct for a special hand audit for this election. The board spent about an hour Tuesday listening to commissioners and activists describe the need for an improved ballot-counting process. Pima County is the only county in the state that doesn’t sort ballots by precinct, said commissioner Michael Duniho. “Resisting improvement in vote count auditing has earned Pima County a reputation for suspect elections,” he told the board. A precinct-level hand count would confirm the accuracy of the machine count, Duniho said.
In a unanimous vote, the supervisors denied the request for a special audit.
County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry opposed the hand-count audit, calling it “an impossible task” that would take 300 staff hours, and the Board of Supervisors must canvass the election results on Monday.
Huckelberry said Maricopa County spends nearly $1 per ballot to have a contractor sort early ballots by legislative district.
For Pima County, a similar contract would cost $256,000, he said. He also cited security concerns.
Duniho said the special audit could be done in-house for $2,000.
The regular audit of early ballots was conducted as usual, but Duniho said that process is “worthless.”
The supervisors did take steps to change the audit process for future elections. The board unanimously supported the commission’s requests to look at ways to improve the process and to ask the Arizona secretary of state to OK a pilot project that would use scanners to audit ballots.
Full Article: Supervisors reject request for special hand ballot audit.