STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (Wednesday, December 30, 2015) Representative Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-23) has introduced HB2023 which prescribes a class 6 felony for collecting a voted or unvoted early ballot from another person.  However, a family, household member or caregiver of a voter, as well as election officials and United States postal workers will continue to be allowed to collect ballots.  

 

Arizona is widely recognized as being at the forefront of efforts to increase voter turnout and participation.  Unfortunately, some of those efforts have been abused to negatively impact the results of elections.  This legislation is an effort to maintain the ability of Arizonan's to participate in the electoral process via the mail without it being manipulated.Rep. Ugenti-Rita said, “During my tenure at the legislature I have been a strong advocate of a fair and impartial electoral process.  I believe ballot harvesting flies in the face of that.  Prohibiting the collection of ballots is important to maintaining the integrity of the electoral process.  Voting is the most direct method to impact government and the process should be void of fraud to ensure voters can have confidence in the system."


Secretary of State Michele Reagan further iterated, “We must do all we can to improve election integrity and reduce the opportunity for political gamesmanship from any political party,” said Secretary Reagan.  “I’ve always said we want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.  This commonsense legislation will ensure voted ballots are secure with the USPS and not in the hands of activist groups walking door-to-door in neighborhoods collecting hundreds of ballots without any oversight.”

 

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio stated, "This bill is about protecting voter rights. The bill protects our precious rights at the ballot box by preventing extreme influence, coercion and ballot fraud from people collecting ballots for special interest groups.”

Rep. Ugenti-Rita continued, “Due to the nature of this issue, it will be the only bill I hear during the first meeting of the Elections Committee.  HB2023 is the product of a deliberative stakeholder process that involved participants from multiple levels of government eager to develop a solution to this problem and I thank them for their contributions and support."
 

[Editor's note: AFA Team members worked with the Secretary of State's office over the past few months to get a bill to stop ballot harvesting.  We are thrilled that this is moving forward.  Please call your Representatives and urge them to vote for this bill.  It's critical to stop voter fraud.]

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Thank you Michelle.

To develop a solution you must accurately identify the problem. In my view, the problem is not the collection of properly completed ballots and delivering them. The problem is the collection of "blank" ballots with a valid signature on the return envelope. This is done by offering something of value in exchange for the "blank" ballot. These collected ballots are then completed, sealed and returned. How does this proposed legislation solve this?

Good point, would it make any difference if they were returned by USPS or by hand delivery if they were fraudulently obtained?

Don't you guys know that the hustlers hold these parties in low income neighborhoods.  They promise free food and beer and these people, many who don't even speak english, are told in exchange they bring their ballots so they can be told how to mark.  Most of them are marked by the hustlers.  Then the hustlers collect the ballots and haul them to the county.  In many instances when they pick up at doors, they open them to see if they are "properly" voted and if they aren't, those ballots never see a vote counting machine!  I read that last election one ballot was unsealed when it was dumped but had a signature across the seal of the envelope.

Yes I completely understand this process. My question is how this proposed legislation would in any way have a resonable expectation of ending this process. The answer is not one bit. The real problem is built into the mail in voting system itself. Eliminate the mail in ballots with minimum exceptions and require all to vote in person. This will however never happen. So: You must beat them at there own game. Sad to say, He who pays the most for the right to fill out the ballot wins.

Ron:  there is talk about cleaning up the early voting rolls.  Unfortunately, the statute says "Permanent Early Ballot."  Team AFA has also discussed with the SoS election department legislation to remove the word "Permanent" which prevents county recorders from cleaning up the rolls.  People who move rarely remove their name from that roll.  Dead people don't either.  There is a system in place for agencies to report deaths and relocations, etc.  But of course, it just doesn't happen in the degree that it should.  Along with cleaning up the rolls, we would like legislation that removes anyone who does not return their ballot for X years.  With the combination of these changes, if ballots cannot be harvested by the hundreds and people must mail their ballots or drop them at the polls themselves, if they have to be consistent voters or be removed, if the rolls are cleaned up, a dent will be made in voter fraud.  Also to answer Rose Sperry's question, a caregiver should be one who has the same living address as the person whose ballot they carry.  That is easy enough to check at the recorder's offices.  

There is no perfect system, but voter fraud can be seriously reduced with some will and some effort.  And a responsible legislature that should vote a veto-proof bill.  Of course, that won't happen because this will be voted on party lines.  So the governor has to sign it, veto it or let it become law without action.  Ducey will no doubt check with McCain to see what to do!

Section 16-1005 ARS currently states : B. It is unlawful to offer or provide any consideration to acquire a voted or unvoted early ballot. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a class 5 felony.

Now I ask, Under current law it is a class 5 felony to throw a party with the price of admission a blank ballot with a signed envelope. Has anyone ever been arrested and charged? No. Will the proposed legislation correct this problem. No. Voter fraud can not be reduced with this effort.

This is just more smoke and mirrors to make us think "they" are doing something.

Now to your point of the "permenant" early voter list:
If "they" required every voter to request a mail in ballot prior to each election and eliminate the "permenant" list, the list would be cleaned with each election. No request, no early ballot. I do this for each election myself. I found by not being on the "permenant" list, the pesky phone calls are reduced.

Yeah, you're right, Ron.  Let's just do nothing.  That's the ticket.  It would be the sheriff's job to round up people under ARS1005.  Where is he?

This is sure a good starting point. But, what constitutes a caregiver? Let's be specific as anyone can claim that status.

I am glad to see the problem has been addressed. This bill is a start to bring attention to the problem. Is this a good way to shine a light on the problem so most sane people can understand early voting is leading to corruption and we can finally get  an accurate voting system or should we go for the gusto? Something to discuss. And then we need to identify which legislator might go for it.

How long will it be before the CRIMINAL leftists declare that this is "disenfranchisement" of the voters?  Go ahead you leftists ... make our day.  You can buss your minions to campaign rallies, but you WON'T cut your cell phone bill, cigarettes, or beer that would allow you to take a buss to the voter booth.

They're not going to.  There's an insanity running among the Leftists now.  They care nothing, they think nothing except to get what their Leftist leaders tell them they want.  Continued murder of unborn babies, homosexualizing America, ramming socialism/communism into every orifice they can, etc.

Because America MUST BE DESTROYED!  Soros said so.  It's the last obstacle to the birth of THEIR BABY......the One World Government. 

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