Arizona Senate Committee Approves Resolution Reclaiming Legislature's Authority to Set Election Rules
The Arizona Senate Committee on Elections passed a resolution Monday reclaiming its authority to oversee federal elections in the state.
The resolution — offered by Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli, who is Republican — also requires voting machines be made entirely of components made in the United States.
Further, the source code of any machines used in federal elections must be made available to the public along with the ballot images and system log files of each tabulator used during an election.
Maricopa County, where 60 percent of Arizona’s voters live, uses Dominion Voting Systems, while nearly all the other counties in the state use Election Systems & Software.
Both Dominion and ES&S voting equipment includes components from Dell, which sources many of its microchips from China and Taiwan.
ES&S acknowledges on its website that some of its components come from China, but all its machines are assembled and tested in the U.S.
In a January 2020 congressional hearing, Dominion president John Poulos also stated his company’s machines are produced in the U.S., but include components from China.
The proposed change in Arizona’s election procedures regarding election machines relies on the legislature’s constitutional authority to oversee federal elections found in Article I, Section 4, Clause 1 and Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution.
Therefore, the lawmakers argue, it does not need Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ signature to become Arizona’s voting policy.
The Article I provision states, “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”
While Article II provides that state legislatures establish the “manner” that electors are appointed for presidential races.
In a Tuesday interview with “Real America’s Voice” host Steve Bannon, Senate Elections Committee chairwoman Wendy Rogers said, “We passed a Senate concurrent resolution through the committee, which reclaims our plenary power per the United States Constitution to oversee federal elections.”
“The Senate current resolution is something that the governor has no say in,” she explained.
“We also passed through committee a Senate bill, which will ostensibly reclaim our power to oversee state elections,” Rogers said.
[WATCH] – AZ Senate Elections Committee Chair @WendyRogersAZ explains on @Bannons_WarRoom how the AZ legislature is (1) re-claiming their Constitutional role in determining the manner in which elections are run and (2) looking to remove machines from elections. #ElectionIntegrity pic.twitter.com/ShzyfSZ1uk
— The America Project (@TheAmericaProj) February 14, 2023
Senate Bill 1074, sponsored by GOP Sen. Anthony Kern, would require Hobbs’ approval to become law, the senator noted.
“These two pieces of legislation that we got through, the committee spoke to essentially not having machines anymore, and if we were to have machines they would have to ascribe to the highest DOD level standards,” Rogers said.
Bannon questioned Rogers about the chances of either of these measures becoming policy and law in Arizona.
He pointed out that the GOP has a tight majority, 16-14, in the Senate. Republicans also hold a slim 31-29 advantage in the state House of Representatives.
Rogers responded saying the Senate is “very well-led right now.”
Yup. SB 1074: “Prohibits use of electronic voting equipment as primary method for tabulating votes in any city, town, county, state or federal election unless outlined requirements are met & prescribes requirement relating to the source codes for electronic voting equipment.” pic.twitter.com/yKPrDMBIYP
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) February 14, 2023
The Senate president is Sen. Warren Petersen, who helped oversee the Maricopa County 2020 election audit, and Borrelli, the majority leader, supported it.
“We are very cohesive and far more conservative than we were last session,” she said and predicted the resolution “will go through” and take effect regarding federal elections.
Legal challenges would likely follow, asserting the legislature does not have the plenary power the resolution claims.
SB 1074 may not become law as long as Hobbs is governor, Rogers conceded, but she pointed out that Republican Kari Lake is currently challenging Hobbs’ win in court.
“You never know everything in terms of Kari Lake being instated as governor,” Rogers said, “so we have to work in parallel and in real-time to put into effect what might happen.”
Following the November 2020 general election, the state of Texas sued Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin asserting state executive branch officials changed election procedures without the approval of state legislatures.
“Each of these States flagrantly violated the statutes enacted by relevant State legislatures, thereby violating the Electors Clause of Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution. By these unlawful acts, Defendant States have not only tainted the integrity of their own citizens’ votes, but their actions have also debased the votes of citizens in the States that remained loyal to the Constitution,” the brief to the U.S. Supreme Court said
The high court did not rule on whether states legislatures have the ultimate authority over how federal elections are conducted in their state, but simply found Texas lacked standing to challenge how Pennsylvania and the other states in the suit had conducted their elections.