Arizona Republican Party wants votes at emergency vote centers to be re-verified

PHOENIX - The Arizona Republican Party has sent a letter to all county recorders alleging that some of them misused emergency early voting.

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It is unclear how many counties set-up emergency voting locations.

At least five "emergency" voting centers were opened in Maricopa County for Saturday, Sunday and Monday voting. Both in person and turning in early ballots.

In their letter, the GOP wrote that, "The Legislature has directed in no uncertain terms that in-person early voting must terminate 'no later than 5 p.m. on the Friday preceding the election."

Read the full letter here.

It goes on to say that an "emergency" consists of “any unforeseen circumstances that would prevent the elector from voting at the polls...In other words mere inconvenience is not permissible."

The GOP lawyers wrote that the decision to open multiple emergency voting centers "impermissibly circumvents the statutory deadline and constitutes a de facto extension of general early voting...And disadvantages voters in other counties."

A major part of the letter is the requests.

The GOP is asking Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes to identify and segregate all ballots cast in-person from Saturday to Monday by people who did not claim an emergency.

They also are asking for any mail-in ballots with signatures that do not match the voter registration forms but were processed as valid.

Some Democrats are already pushing back on this letter, saying that it is a suppression effort.

Fontes was strong in his denouncement of wrongdoing, saying the emergency centers were not only legal, but that he his going to fight to make sure all the votes cast over the weekend count.

An attorney who represents some Democrats calls the Republican letter an effort at voter suppression.

"I want all of those votes to count and I am somewhat disappointed that other people don't want those votes to count," Fontes told reporters during a Tuesday evening election update. "We opened those emergency vote centers under the law, under a plain reading of that law, and ya know, we'll let other people make the determinations otherwise."

 

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