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GOP Suit Seeks to Stop Counties from Verifying Ballot Signatures After Election Day

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Arizona Capitol Times
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About 600,000 votes still remain to be counted in the state’s still too-close-to-call U.S. Senate race. Now, Republicans have filed a lawsuit to challenge the way some counties count mail-in ballots and verify voter signatures. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The GOP lawsuit alleges Arizona’s 15 county recorders don’t have a consistent process for allowing voters to fix signature problems on mail-in ballots. It also claims two counties improperly allow voters to verify their identities after Election Day.

Apache County is one of them. Chief Deputy Recorder Bowen Udall says if your ballot is one of those in question, election officials should have contacted you by now.

"We allow them to call us, come in in person, whatever’s convenient for them to verify that they did in fact sign their ballot. We get contacted back by a majority of the people that we attempt to contact. I know that we’ve had several hundred and most of those have been verified," he says.

Apache County voters have until 5 o’clock Friday to fix any signature problems.

Coconino County voters who’ve been contacted can verify their identities until next Wednesday. Residents who cast early ballots can check if they’ve been accepted on the Secretary of State’s website.

Less than a percent separates Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in the race for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat. Democrats say uncounted ballots could favor their candidate, and call the Republican lawsuit an attempt at voter suppression. It’ll be heard in court Friday.

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Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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