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Judge blocks rural Arizona county’s hand count of ballots

“Because Plaintiffs have established that the Board of Supervisors has acted unlawfully by ordering a full hand count, they need not satisfy the standard for injunctive relief here. Arizona Public Integrity Alliance v. Fontes, supra. Regardless, Plaintiffs have nonetheless satisfied the standard for injunctive relief in this case. Because the Board of Supervisors had no authority to order a full hand count audit of the electronic tabulation of votes cast in the general election, Plaintiffs are very likely to succeed on the merits of their special action. Additionally, because the proposed audit does not comply with clearly stated Arizona law, public policy and the public interest are served by enjoining the unlawful action,” says the ruling in a lawsuit filed by the Arizona Alliance of Retired Americans and a Democratic voter against members of the Cochise County, Arizona Board of Supervisors.

“Defendants urge the Court to consider that permitting a full hand count audit would help ameliorate fears that the electronic count was incorrect, and that it ensures that every vote is counted and counted correctly. However, there is no evidence before this Court that electronic tabulation is inaccurate in the first instance, or more importantly, that the audit system established by law is insufficient to detect any inaccuracy it may possess. The Court understands and recognizes that many citizens believe that a full hand count is the only appropriate methodology to accurately count the people’s vote. However, the question of what methodology of vote counting is most appropriate, or most supported by the public, is not the question that is currently before this Court,”

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