Judge Stops Arizona County From Hand-Counting Ballots

So are Americans not allowed to fully audit their own elections? It appears this is the case in at least Arizona after a judge issued an order Monday blocking a state county from holding a full hand count of every ballot.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey F. McGinley reportedly ordered the ruling after a day-long hearing on Nov. 4.

McGinley argued that the Cochise County Board of Supervisors overstepped its bounds by calling for a hand count of all ballots cast in the midterm election rather than the smaller sample authorized by state law.

The lawsuit to stop the hand count was filed by The Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans (AARA), a far-left Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that according to its website seeks to “ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens.” AARA notably was part of filing a lawsuit that sought a restraining order against Americans who were watching drop boxes to presumably stop voter fraud.

It was Oct. 24 when the Cochise County Board of Supervisors voted 2-1 to authorize a hand count of all ballots to be cast in the Nov. 8 election. This decision was soon reversed after Secretary of State and current Arizona Democrat gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs threatened the board with legal action.

The board shortly after decided to hand-count ballots once more after an opinion issued by the office of state Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the county could hand-count ballots in up to five races.

Cochise County is allowed to hold an expanded hand-count audit of all early ballots and ballots cast in person “so long as the expanded hand-count audit of statewide and federal races is limited to five contested statewide and federal races appearing on the 2022 General Election ballot,” according to the statement issued by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Oct. 28.

Controversies surrounding elections in Arizona have ramped up since the November 8th midterm elections. A video posted to Twitter by well-known conservative influencer Charlie Kirk showed footage of numerous voting machines in Mesa, Arizona allegedly not working on election day.

McGinley stated that state election laws have a process for randomly selecting ballots to be hand-counted, emphasizing that “ballots be randomly selected for a hand count” and “by common definition, a selection of precincts is not random if all precincts are chosen.”

“This entire process would be rendered superfluous if the court were to construe (that section) to initially select 100% of the precinct ballots as its starting point,” McGinley wrote in his decision. “Because the statute does not permit elections officials to begin the precinct hand-count by counting all ballots cast, the Board’s requirement that elections officials do so here is unlawful.”