Two Republicans seeking statewide office are asking a federal judge to block the use of machines to tabulate the votes in Arizona in the 2022 election. The machines are unreliable because they are subject to hacking, contend Kari Lake, a gubernatorial hopeful, and Mark Finchem, who is running for secretary of state. And the use of components in computers from other countries makes them vulnerable, they say. The is an even more basic problem, says Andrew Parker, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on their behalf. The tabulation of votes is an inherently governmental function, he said. Yet by using machines built and programmed by private companies the state has effectively farmed that out that obligation. And what’s worse, Parker said in his filings, is that the technology is kept secret from the public. “This lack of transparency by electronic voting machine companies has created a ‘black box’ system of voting which lacks credibility and integrity,” he wrote in a copy of the lawsuit furnished to Capitol Media Services.
Arizona’s largest county, Maricopa, would likely be required to recount all ballots cast in every election moving forward if a proposed change to state law passes. The bill, awaiting a final vote as early as today in the Arizona Legislature after garnering bipartisan support, would vastly widen the margin of votes between candidates that triggers an automatic recount in primary and general elections, for almost every type of race. The change would prompt more frequent recounts in large and small counties alike. In the 2020 general election, it would have triggered two statewide recounts and two countywide recounts in Maricopa County, including the presidential race which Joe Biden won narrowly in the state. The stated goal is to build voter confidence in election outcomes in a battleground state where margins are often tight and recounts are currently rarely allowed. State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, who introduced Senate Bill 1008, says it would still only require recounts on races that are very close. “Here is an opportunity to help reinforce the process,” Ugenti-Rita said. “To give the voters confidence that, when races are razor tight, we make sure they were counted accurately.”