WASHINGTON, D.C. — Earlier this month, Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould (R) filed a lawsuit in his personal capacity challenging Arizona’s prohibition on hand counting. Now, an Arizona nonprofit group is stepping in to defend voting machines and prohibit rogue counties from attempting to hand count all election results.
In November 2023, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors scheduled a vote to determine if the board would hand count all ballots for the 2024 election. On Nov. 19, 2023, Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) sent a letter to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors informing the board that voting to hand count ballots would violate Arizona law. The board ultimately voted 3-2 to not hand count ballots. Now, one of the supervisors alleges that Mayes intimidated and threatened the board and ultimately changed the outcome of the vote.
On Jan. 13, Gould filed a lawsuit against Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) alleging that a letter Mayes sent to the Mohave County board “influenced the voting process and ultimate vote” and “threatened” the plaintiff in violation of Arizona law. The plaintiff alleges that this action violated Arizona law and requests that the court declare that counting ballots with voting machines, rather than hand counting, is optional and not mandatory.
Gould also asks the court to order that the court’s finding in a separate case out of Cochise County, only applies to conducting a full hand count audit (a hand count of ballots after a voting machine counts them) and does not therefore apply to conducting a full hand count (where an initial count would be done without a tabulator).
Today, the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans — a nonprofit group of about 50,000 retirees from unions, community organizations activists in every county in Arizona — filed a motion to intervene. The group argues that it has an interest in “ensuring that its members’ ballots are protected by the rigorous standards that ensure the accuracy, security, and privacy of electronic vote counting.” Previously, the group sued Cochise County to prevent the county from conducting a full hand count audit.