Bill requiring all parts of Arizona election machines be made in US passes out of committee

An Arizona committee approved several election overhaul bills, but the bill's future in the full Senate remains uncertain.
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 8:42 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2023 at 9:09 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Senate Elections Committee had a full plate this afternoon of 17 various election laws.

One of them would require all voting machines to be manufactured in the United States.

Arizona State Sen. Sonny Borrelli introduced his bill, 1074, which would not replace voting machines but make them harder to use in elections.

To that end, the committee introduced a lawyer who said he was asked to program a computer to alter election results 20 years ago.

“It’s just a terrible idea to use computers in elections,” Clinton Curtis told the panel.

Curtis said he’s a Democrat from Florida whose job these days is to sue the government.

He said computers are not very difficult to manipulate but it’s very hard to detect.

“You can’t have computers in elections if you want to have confidence in them,” he said. “If you simply want a video game everyone plays and goes home and the people you selected will be there, that’s what we have now.”

The bill was changed from a bill about election lawsuits to a bill about machines and tabulators.

It’s the provision which requires all the components to be made in the United States may be the hardest to achieve and may need some work if the bill is to meet approval.

Some of the machines in Arizona contain “components which are manufactured and tested in foreign nations such as China, which is a direct threat to the United States,” said Borrelli.

But the people who watch elections closely say there is no way at the present for all the elections machines used in Arizona to be made solely by American manufacturers.

“All the equipment is assembled in the US, all the tabulation equipment is assembled in the United States already,” said Jen Marson of the Arizona Counties Association. “But to have it only manufactured here, there currently does not exist a supply chain that can accomplish that.”

Since the Cyber Ninjas recount of the 2020 election two years ago, Republicans have been trying to discredit the use of tabulators and other electronic machines in elections.

There have also been proposed bills that would require a hand count. Those have not been successful.

The bill faces an uncertain future because Gov. Katie Hobbs has promised to vetp any election bill she did not approve of.