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Borrelli, Rogers pitch hand counting ballots to Pinal County supervisors

Sens. Sonny Borrelli and Wendy Rogers were in Florence on Wednesday, preaching the gospel of hand counts to the GOP-led board of supervisors in Pinal County.

It was their latest stop in a monthslong effort to convince Arizona counties to abandon reliable and efficient machines that count votes, in favor of hand counts that experts agree are unreliable and inefficient — as well as costly.

Borrelli and Rogers’ efforts have had mixed results.

Mohave County supervisors on Tuesday struck down a plan to count all 2024 ballots by hand — rejecting a proposal that the county’s election director had drafted at the board’s orders.

Mohave County Board Chair Travis Lingenfelter said hand counting was simply too costly, given the manpower and hours that would be needed to complete a hand count in a timely fashion.

In Florence, Borrelli tried to convince the board that hundreds of volunteers were standing by to assist the effort.

And he also disputed claims that hand counts violate state law.

“I’ve even had arguments with some of the county attorneys who say, ‘Well show me in statute where a hand count is authorized,’” Borrelli said. “And I say, ‘Show me where it’s not.’”

The Pinal County attorney advised the board to wait to take any action until a court case settles that fundamental disagreement.

The Arizona Court of Appeals is considering an appeal from Cochise County officials, where Republican officials were barred from conducting a hand count of the 2022 general election by a trial court judge.

Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.