Former Rep. Ted Downing Recalls Efforts to Exclude Audit of County Races

Pima County has not only fought over the plain meaning of various election and public records laws, it has actively intervened in drafting of election laws.

Specifically, in 2006, former Representative Ted Downing and former Senator Karen Johnson authored SB 1557 in the State legislature to mandate random auditing and hand counting of ballots. Pima County Election Director Brad Nelson told Downing that including county races in the bill would be a “deal breaker”. Nelson said that he and the Maricopa County Election Director would oppose the entire bill if the County elections were covered by the mandatory hand count. Because of that threat, SB 1557 was passed into what became A.R.S. §16-602 and County races were not included.

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