Some day, perhaps even sometime this year if we’re lucky, when election officials in Arizona finally find someone capable of mastering preschool mathematics and they finish counting their ballots, we may know the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections. But that day is not today, my friends. They are somehow still flummoxed by the task of gathering up hundreds of thousands of ballots and feeding them into machines of dubious efficacy. Meanwhile, a different set of election supervisors appears to be ready to move forward with a hand count of nearly all of the ballots. Those officials are facing threats from state Democrats, however. The liberals have gone to court and obtained an order to forbid any such action, though the ruling seems to defy the state’s election laws. But even under the ominous threat of criminal charges, the group of election “radicals” appears to be ready to start the count as early as this weekend. (Associated Press)

The board of supervisors in a southern Arizona county will meet next week to consider counting nearly all the ballots cast in-person on Election Day, despite an earlier court order limiting the hand-count driven by unfounded distrust in machines that tabulate votes.

The actual count may start before Tuesday’s planned meeting of the Cochise County board, and the local prosecutor is warning starting it at any time may lead to criminal charges.

The moves come just days after a judge ruled that state law bars expanding the normal small hand-count audit of early ballots. He also ruled that a 100% hand-count of Election Day ballots is illegal because any expansion for precincts chosen for those reviews must be picked at random.

The details of the election law in question make it unclear how this judge’s ruling could withstand a challenge. The normal process typically only involves a handful of precincts undergoing a hand count. But that’s by tradition, not by law. The law only says that the precincts subjected to a hand count must be selected “at random.” The judge’s order even admits that the number could be increased.

How much the number could be increased isn’t specified. So the rogue election officials are changing the percentage from two to 99.8. And they would indeed be chosen at random. If the Democrats want to prevent a nearly total hand count of the ballots, it seems as if they would need to first amend the state’s election laws.

There is seemingly more being revealed here than any potential flaws in Arizona’s electoral process or voting machinery. Why would Democrats be so uniformly opposed to a hand count? What is the downside of doing it? When the “official” count as tallied by the machines is finished, they can release those results immediately. But even if it takes weeks to complete the hand count, those numbers could then be matched against the machine tally.

In what universe is that a bad thing? If the counts match up (or come within a reasonable margin of error that wouldn’t change the outcome), then all is right with the world and the confidence of the voters will be enhanced. If the numbers are grossly different, then a serious problem will have been exposed and corrective measures can be taken prior to the next election. Even if it leads to the final result being changed, people will at least be able to walk away feeling that the election was fairly conducted and decided.

The great “threat to our democracy” we were lectured about in the final months before the election was an undermining of the confidence of the citizens in the electoral process. What do these Democrats think they are doing by fighting tooth and claw to prevent a hand count? It sounds to me as if people will view the Democrats as having something to hide, and will make the results seem all the less legitimate.

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