The Mohave County Board of Supervisors voted today on the hand-counting ballots for the 2024 Presidential Preference election. The board had previously rejected the idea in August, citing the estimated cost of approximately $1.1 million and the county’s $18 million budget deficit as reasons for their decision.
Chairman Travis Lingenfelter, who had voted against hand-counting in August, placed the proposal back on the agenda for today’s meeting.
Arizona State Senator Sonny Borrelli addressed the board and proposed the hand count be performed on the Presidential Preference Election at the precinct level, with the ballots then being sent to the tabulators at the county level for a second count.
After much discussion, the Board voted the measure down. Yes votes: Hildy Angius, Ron Gould. No Votes: Travis Lingenfelter, Buster Johnson, and Jean Bishop. It should be noted that all five members of the board identify themselves Republican.
State Attorney General Kris Mayes and Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, both Democrats, have previously stated that hand-counting ballots would be illegal under state law. However, a lawyer named Bryan Blehm recently sent a letter to the supervisors, asserting that hand-counting is legal and within Mohave County’s rights. He also offered to represent the county at no cost if any legal action is taken.
You can read about Kris Mayes’ threats to the Board of Supervisors here.
Pressure to eliminate voting machines has been mounting on supervisors across the state, with Republican state Sens. Sonny Borrelli and Wendy Rogers advocating for the change.
Other state lawmakers, such as Rep. John Gillette, voiced their support for the Mohave County hand count.
Mohave County Supervisors vote for hand count today. Tabulation machines can be corrupted by any saved script. I witnessed a test of a popular brand machine. It took the tech 17 seconds to add bad script to flip the vote. HANDCOUNT the vote! pic.twitter.com/pECdG9LX34
— Rep. John Gillette AZ House LD30 (@AzRepGillette) November 20, 2023