Election Integrity Commission meets face to face again
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – For the first time in a year and a half, the Election Integrity Commission began its work this week face to face, the first county commission to do so.
The last time it met was in February 2020, when the pandemic was just starting to take hold.
Much has happened since, including the contested 2020 election and the audit in Maricopa County.
The Arizona state legislature has been passed and the governor has signed 19 pieces of legislation that slightly modify electoral procedures.
“This is where the Electoral Integrity Commission comes in as well as political observers,” said Brad Nelson, Pima County Election Officer. “It’s not just us saying it’s okay, it’s a bunch of people coming out and saying things are going well – or not.”
These changes will make things a little more difficult for the commission as it moves forward.
Real or imagined, electoral fraud takes center stage. It is the commission’s job to prevent it and to instill confidence in the electoral process.
One of the issues that will be addressed by the committee concerns polling centers, used by several counties in Arizona.
At a polling station on polling day, a voter can vote in one of dozens of polling stations that will be open across the county.
It will, in essence, replace the precinct voting sites that have been a vital part of the voting experience in the United States.
State law states that a voter who votes outside the precinct will have their vote rejected.
There are still those who oppose the polling centers, like County Supervisor of District 4, Steve Christy.
“As discussed by members of the committee today, I believe that polling centers can also lend themselves to the possibility of fraudulent votes,” he said. “And will have huge problems of timeliness and efficiency.”
He also believes that constituencies have a place in the process.
“The basic and fundamental building blocks of the voting process are neighborhood constituencies,” Christy said. “It’s knowing the people who vote in those constituencies.”
But Pima and Pinal counties are the only two in the state that do not have voting centers and it appears they have enough support to be in place by the 2022 elections.
In the meantime, coming face to face makes some people smile.
“I think it’s a great day,” Christy said.
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