US Midterms: Arizona County Approves Hand Recount

The Cochise County, Ariz. board of supervisors voted 2-1 on Monday in favor of a hand-count audit in all precincts for the Nov. 8 midterm elections. The vote came after two Republican supervisors previously voted against it before facing pressure from GOP voters to reverse course.

US Midterms: Arizona County Approves Hand Recount
Image credit: Arnaud Jaegers / Unsplash

Facts

  • The Cochise County, Ariz. board of supervisors voted 2-1 on Monday in favor of a hand-count audit in all precincts for the Nov. 8 midterm elections. The vote came after two Republican supervisors previously voted against it before facing pressure from GOP voters to reverse course.
  • The lone Democrat on the board, chairwoman Ann English, voted against both proposals, arguing the county's insurance wouldn't protect them from expected lawsuits. The county's attorney Brian McIntyre said supervisors could be held personally liable in a civil action, with the hand count potentially being found "unlawful."
  • The first proposal that was rejected said volunteers "are wishing to take part in this way to help people...who have lost trust in elections," with the approved proposal simply calling for an audit by hand count to assure agreement with the machine count.
  • Under state law, a small percentage of ballots in selected races already go through a mandatory hand count with bipartisan teams. Some officials believe a wider hand count could lead to the results being leaked before they are legally posted.
  • During Tuesday's meeting, both sides of the proposal voiced their opinions, with those against saying it "risks instilling chaos and confusion" and "will waste taxpayer resources." Proponents expressed support for a hand count of 100% of all cast ballots.
  • Arizona Sec. of State Katie Hobbs (D), also running for governor, said if the county goes ahead with the hand count, "the Secretary will take all available legal action to ensure that Cochise County conducts the 2022 General Election in compliance with Arizona law.”

Sources: Fox 10 Phoenix, US News, Associated Press, and stltoday.

Narratives

  • Democratic narrative, as provided by NY Times. Those who are skeptical of machine-counted ballots are simply victims of Donald Trump's baseless election lies. Experts and ballot counters alike will tell you that hand counts — except in the smallest jurisdictions — are not only more labor intensive but also inaccurate during recounts. If Americans want to ensure election integrity, machine counts are the way to go.
  • Republican narrative, as provided by Townhall. The idea that establishment politicians in Arizona should be in charge of ballot-counting decisions is lunacy. For example, Katie Hobbs' office just sent out 6K erroneous ballots, so how can voters trust her judgment on how recounts are conducted? The voters in Cochise County support hand-tabulated recounts, and that's what they deserve.

Predictions