The Republican-controlled Arizona House of Representatives passed an amendment to an election integrity bill Monday that would require county attorneys or the state attorney general’s office to investigate mismatched signatures on early voting ballots.
The amendment to SB 1241 by Rep. John Kavanagh (R-District 23) is meant to protect the integrity of early voting, and Arizona’s elections as a whole according to the representative.
“That is almost the biggest yellow flag for voter fraud that I can think of — the signatures don’t match and you can’t contact the voter. There’s a chance there that that’s a fraudulent ballot. And that should be investigated,” he said. “It’s easy to claim there’s no fraud in early ballots if you never look for fraud, even when it may be staring you right in the face.”
It was passed along party lines.
Right now, when an absentee ballot is cast, the voter signs his or her name to the envelope by which the ballot is transmitted to election officials. The signature on the ballot is then matched by election officials to the signature recorded on file for that voter. If the signatures do not match, the election official can attempt to contact the voter to “cure” the ballot. If the voter cannot be reached, the ballots are simply disregarded.
Kavanagh claims that someone should follow up on those ballots to find out why the signatures did not match.
Democrats disagree, claiming that Kavanagh is proposing a solution to a problem that does not exist.
House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding (D-District 27), a candidate for secretary of state, claimed Kavanagh’s amendment is part of a broad conspiracy theory.
“This idea is simply predicated on one thing, which is to chase and continue to utilize this ‘Big Lie’ that, somehow, someplace, we have these fraudulent ballots that are changing the outcome of elections,” he said.
In Maricopa County, a high-profile audit of the 2020 election results is being conducted. President Joe Biden edged out former President Donald J. Trump by just more than 10,000 votes.
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