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AZ Senate bill allows federal candidates to send observers to vote counting centers

The Arizona Senate Elections Committee has passed a bill that would allow candidates for federal office to designate observers at vote counting centers.

There are already rules that allow the general public, as well as representatives from each political party, to observe the counting of ballots.

Senate Bill 1060 adds to that list one designated representative of a candidate for federal office, like president or U.S. Senate but only during the general election.

It would also allow political parties at each county send challengers to voting centers in addition to precincts.

Observers would be barred from approaching officials’ tables or voting equipment or obstructing ballot processing and election administration.

Republican Sen. Sonny Borrelli said the bill will increase oversight of elections.

“The only time there’s questions that come into the elections is when you don’t allow transparency," Borrelli said. 

But Democratic Sen. Priya Sundareshan objected to bringing more partisan observers into vote-counting centers.

“I think it’s going to do more to undermine that trust in the security and integrity of the elections," Sundareshan said. 

The bill now goes to the Senate Rules Committee.

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.