Borelli Calls Out Hobbs For Veto Of Election Integrity Bill

April 12, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

It’s a tale as old as January 2023: Arizona’s Democrat Governor and Republican-led Legislature aren’t agreeing on much in this session; and they certainly aren’t coming together on issues of election integrity.

Governor Katie Hobbs recently vetoed SB 1074, sponsored by Senator Sonny Borrelli, which would have prohibited “the use of electronic voting equipment as the primary method for tabulating votes in any city, town, county, state or federal election unless the outlined requirements are met.” The legislation would also prescribe “requirements relating to the source codes for electronic voting equipment.”

The governor didn’t provide much information in her veto letter to Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen, writing, “The election equipment required by the bill, as well as the problem it purports to solve, does not exist. This bill neither strengthens our democracy, nor ensures that Arizonans can better exercise their fundamental right to vote. I stand ready to receive bills that do.”

The bill sponsor, Borrelli, was outraged at the governor’s decision, issuing a press release to “call out Governor Hobbs for her continued blatant political games after she vetoed a bill that would have established oversight, security and transparency on electronic voting systems.”

Senator Borrelli stated: “In her veto letter, Governor Hobbs stated the election equipment required by the bill does not exist. This is in fact a lie. The equipment exists, but the components are made in the People’s Republic of China and other non-friendly countries. She’s pushing the idea that the United States of America could not onshore the manufacturing of tabulation equipment, which is absolutely absurd. There is nothing the American workforce cannot do given the right opportunities.”

He continued, saying, “Furthermore, Governor Hobbs falsely stated that this bill purports to solve a problem that does not exist. I beg to differ. Any electronic device can be manipulated to have a certain outcome. You need source codes to determine this, but they’re not being provided with the current system. You would think the former Secretary of State would know that in 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated elections systems as critical infrastructure. This means these systems should be subjected to the same national security standards that the U.S. Department of Defense would apply to any critical infrastructure. Having a third-party vendor with total autonomy is not good for security, voter confidence, nor democracy. This bill would have taken the politics out of the voting process and created a neutral party that works for the Legislature. Fair and honest elections are a bi-partisan concern, albeit only when Democrats are the ones to benefit. Hobbs’ obstructive and cavalier attitude has been part of the destruction of transparency and oversight within our elections.”

SB 1074 originated in the Senate and was considered by the Elections Committee in February, where it passed by a vote of 5-3. The full Senate then approved of the measure in March, 16-13, with one member (Senator Gonzales) not voting. Borrelli’s proposal was then transmitted to the House and heard in the Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee, where it received six Republican votes compared to four Democrat votes (with Representative Jacqueline Parker absent for that vote). The full House then gave the bill the green light with a 31-27 tally, with two Democrat members not voting, making it possible for the legislation to be sent to the Governor’s Office.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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