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Mohave County supervisors reject ballot hand counts for a second time

An election worker in Phoenix holds ballots on Election Day 2022.
Matt York
Associated Press
An election worker in Phoenix holds ballots on Election Day 2022.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors has rejected a plan to hand count all ballots in next year’s election.

The 3-2 vote was held Monday after hours of public comment and debate.

The all-Republican board shot down a similar proposal in August after they’d determined it would be costly and impractical.

An attorney who worked for the company Cyber Ninjas, which ran Maricopa County’s partisan 2020 presidential election review, had pledged to represent Mohave County at no cost if the supervisors authorized a hand count and were later sued.

Election experts say hand counts are less accurate, more expensive and slower than using machines.

Attorney General Kris Mayes told Mohave County officials over the weekend there would be serious legal consequences if they opted to hand count. In a statement following Monday’s vote, Mayes said, “The Board’s decision to adhere to state-mandated procedures for ballot counting avoids potential legal complications and reinforces public trust in the integrity of our elections.”

Secretary of State Adrian Fontes wrote the Mohave supervisors a letter stating the same thing in June.

Cochise County tried to mandate a hand count and delay the certification of the midterm results in last year’s election.

Two of those supervisors are now under criminal investigation by the Attorney General’s Office.