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Court of Appeals set to hear arguments for Cochise County early ballot hand count

At least one appellate court judge appears ready to allow Cochise County to do a full hand count of early ballots.

That wouldn’t include those cast at polling places.

The three-judge Court of Appeals panel is set to hear arguments on Tuesday. 

If that draft opinion holds afterwards, it could open the door to the state’s other 14 counties to conduct an expanded hand count of all early ballots.

More than 80% of the 2.56 million votes for governor were cast as early ballots in the 2022 election. 

The draft opinion is the latest move in the lawsuit between the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Cochise County. The county was sued after it announced plans to conduct a full hand count.

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.