Bipartisan Arizona Election Bill Aligns State Election Deadlines with Federal Law
Today, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed a bipartisan bill into law that helps ensure Arizona’s election deadlines comply with the federal Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022 – a move that helps secure Arizona’s elections and enables Arizona’s presidential election results to be properly transmitted to Congress, reflecting the will of Arizona’s voters.
Catherine Hinckley Kelley, senior director for policy and strategic partnerships at Campaign Legal Center, issued the following statement:
“Campaign Legal Center commends Arizona lawmakers for their bipartisan effort to update the state’s election laws.
The bill signed today by Governor Hobbs is a robust bipartisan compromise that aligns Arizona’s post-election timelines with new federal deadlines – a necessary improvement ahead of the 2024 presidential election. This is a step forward for democracy, for Arizona’s voters, and for trust in Arizona’s elections.
Campaign Legal Center hopes other states will follow Arizona’s example and make necessary legislative updates in advance of this election.”
In December 2022, the U.S. Congress passed the bipartisan Electoral Count Reform Act (the ECRA), a law that updated the archaic Electoral Count Act (ECA) of 1887.
Among other changes that address vulnerabilities in the process of casting and counting electoral votes revealed in the 2020 presidential election, the ECRA mandates that each state’s executive must certify the state’s slate of electors six days before the date on which the electors meet to officially cast their votes; for the 2024 presidential election states must certify their presidential election results by December 11. A number of other states have updated their laws to align with the new federal deadlines.
Today’s bipartisan bill signed by Governor Hobbs aligns Arizona’s post-election process to comply with the deadlines set in the ECRA by:
- Requiring county boards to meet and canvass the election results on the third Thursday after the election, shortening the timeline for this post-election process;
- Requiring the Secretary of State to perform the state canvass no later than the third Monday after the election;
- Specifying a timeline for initiation of a recount by requiring the Secretary to certify facts to the Maricopa County Superior Court within 24 hours of the last county canvass or the last day allowed for county canvass, whichever is earlier;
- Requiring that “logic and accuracy” testing on the tabulators to be used in the recount to take place within two calendar days after the court orders the recount;
- Requiring the use of electronic transmission for canvass results to the Secretary of State, thus speeding up the process;
- In the case of a recount, allowing a hand recount and machine tabulation recounts to be conducted simultaneously, saving valuable time in the recount timeline.