On November 20, Mohave County in Arizona voted against a proposal to hand-count all ballots for the 2024 election. This marks the county’s second instance of making such a decision this year.
The Mohave County Board of Supervisors, with a 3-2 vote, rejected the proposal following advice from Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat.
Mayes informed officials that approving the proposal would mean directing election workers to break the law. She warned that her office would take legal action if the measure were approved.
In early August, the proposal for a hand count vote was turned down as Board Chairman Travis Lingenfelter expressed an inability to justify the expense.
He pointed out that Mohave County was grappling with a budget deficit of approximately $16 million. County election officials had estimated that 245 additional workers would be required to carry out a hand count of all ballots.
Mr. Lingenfelter, who opposed the measure in both instances, shared that he included the proposal on the Nov. 20 agenda as he had promised State Sen. Sonny Borrelli, a Republican from the Mohave County community of Lake Havasu City.
He committed to doing so only if a sufficient number of volunteers committed to the counting task and if someone agreed to cover the costs associated with potential litigation.
Local media reported that election officials estimated a 2024 recount effort to be priced at $1.1 million. Meanwhile, Mohave County is dealing with a budget deficit of $18 million.
However, attorney Bryan Blehm, who had assisted GOP candidate Kari Lake in election-related lawsuits, conveyed in a letter to the county that he would provide representation “at no cost” in case any lawsuits arose from a hand recount.
“Any litigation will be 100 percent private pay,” wrote Mr. Blehm, who had worked for Cyber Ninjas—a firm that was involved in Maricopa County’s hand-count review in 2021.
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