A potential showdown between a Republican state senator and a Democratic governor may be developing in the swing state of Arizona in advance of the 2020 elections.
According to the Arizona Mirror, on Monday, Sen. Sonny Borrelli asserted that a non-binding resolution prohibiting Arizona counties from using ballot-counting machines supersedes state law. Elections officials, the state’s attorney general, and county leaders quickly refuted this claim as unfounded.
“Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli penned a letter to all 15 Arizona counties on Monday, telling them that they were barred from using any machines to administer future elections,” the report continued. “He claimed that the legislature’s recent approval of Senate Concurrent Resolution 1037 was binding under a radical interpretation of a constitutional provision that would effectively allow state legislatures to do whatever they want with elections.”
At the core of the “plenary powers” theory is the notion that legislatures have the discretionary authority to change election rules and administration without judicial or executive branch oversight or constraints. The viewpoint implies that there are no checks and balances limiting the legislature’s ability to alter election processes.
“In this case, Borrelli claimed that, even though Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed actual legislation that would have changed state law to ban all election machines used in Arizona, a change in the law isn’t needed to bar those machines because of SCR1037,” the report noted further.
The resolution functions primarily as an expression of the legislature’s opinion on the subject and has no legal force. It states that voting equipment is considered critical infrastructure and advocates for it to be “open source” and manufactured exclusively in the United States. Moreover, the resolution expressly prohibits the use of any electronic apparatus for tabulating, voting, or recording vote totals, according to the news source.
State and county leaders vehemently opposed the notion that the resolution could supersede Arizona’s explicit state law, which permits the use of voting machines in elections and imposes stringent regulations on their usage, specifications, and specifications.
“Senate Concurrent Resolution 1037, which expresses a desire to restrict the use of certain electronic voting machines, is non-binding and does not have the force of law,” Secretary of State Adrian Fontes said in a statement on Twitter. “If those requirements or certification process were to be changed, it would require a regular bill to be passed by the legislature and signed by the governor—which is not the case for this non-binding resolution. We defer to the AG’s office on all other legal questions.”
The resolution seeks to circumvent the comprehensive procedure established by Arizona law, which mandates certification of election equipment by both state and federal authorities, with specific requirements at each stage.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
“The attorney general agrees with (Fontes’) legal assessment on the matter,” Richie Taylor, spokesperson for Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes, told the Arizona Mirror. “The SCR is non-binding and has no legal impact. We have not formulated any official opinion on the senator’s letter.” CONTINUE READING…