(USA Features) A pair of election integrity measures advanced in the Arizona legislature on Tuesday, both aimed at combatting the potential for vote fraud.
One of the measures boosts the recount threshold to 0.5% from its current 0.1% level, while the other pertains to verifying signatures on mail-in ballots.
“Had the proposal been law last year, there would have been a mandatory recount of the presidential race in Arizona, in which President Joe Biden defeated [former President Donald] Trump by 10,457 votes, which is just over three-tenths of a percent of the two candidates’ vote total,” the Arizona Mirror reported.
The other measure calls for signatures on ballots that don’t match signatures on file with election officials to be followed up on, something that isn’t happening currently, said the legislation’s sponsor, state Rep. John Kavanagh. Currently, if election officials find seemingly mismatched signatures on ballots, they are merely discarded without the person who sent it in being contacted.
“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,” said Kavanagh, a Republican.
“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.”
Democrats claim the measures create issues where there currently are none.
“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,” House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding, D-Phoenix, who is running for Arizona secretary of state, told the paper.
Kavanagh pushed back, however.
“We don’t know what the scope of the problem is because right now nobody investigates potentially fraudulent ballots,” he said.