Arizona State Sen. Mesnard Speaks About Onsite Tabulation for Mail-In Voting Bill

Arizona State Senator J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler) spoke with The Arizona Sun Times about the effect SB 1632 – a newly-signed bill he sponsored – may have on the perception of mail-in voting. The measure aims to provide onsite tabulation for early ballots.

“I think the issues, the oppositions, the concerns surrounding mail-in ballots are wide and vast and that this [law] may help mitigate some of it, but those issues are much more fundamental. They come down to whether or not [mail-in voting] should be allowed at all,” Mesnard said. “This [legislation] would obviously only operate in a world where it’s allowed. But I suspect that the opposition that folks have to mail-in [voting] will continue because this [law] is just addressing maybe a question or skepticism or whatever that somebody has about their own mail-in ballot, not the principle or philosophy of whether or not we should have mail-in ballots.”

Mesnard said he hopes counties will implement SB 1362, even though it is not a requirement, because “I know voters would really like it.”

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) signed SB 1362 and SB 1260, sponsored by Mesnard, into law on Monday.

“Currently, voters who do not return their early ballots by mail must drop them off by Election Day. This bill [1362] would allow voters another option: the opportunity to see their early ballot counted in front of them,” according to a press release from the Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus.

SB 1362 states that individuals can only bring their early ballot into a tabulation area. Once the voter’s signature has been authenticated, the verified ballot is eligible to be tabulated.

The other bill, SB 1260, aims to ensure that people only vote where they are registered to vote.

“SB1260 makes it illegal to intentionally allow someone who is registered in another state to also vote in Arizona and requires a county recorder to cancel a person’s registration upon confirmation that a person has registered to vote in another county or has moved,” according to the press release.

The bill also mentions what to do if an individual receives an early ballot addressed to a person no longer living in the household. The recipient must return the bill to the county recorder with “not at this address” written on the envelope.

“Democratic systems only work if our elections are secure and their integrity unmatched. That means ensuring that each person has one vote and that their vote is properly counted,” Mesnard said in the press release. “These bills signed into law Monday address both of those essential principles and will help improve the faith voters have in our elections.”

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Wars. CC BY-SA 3.0.


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