Law Guarantees VVPAT, Hand Audits, and Durable Paper Ballots
New Law Now Only Requires Governor's Signature
By John Gideon on 6/21/2006, 9:16am PT  

Guest blogged by John Gideon

Late last night the Arizona Legislature took the steps necessary to pass legislation that will guarantee the voters in the state have more transparency and auditability in their elections. The bill passed the House of Representatives 51-0 then immediately went to the Senate who passed it 25-3.

I received an email that originated from Arizona state Representative Ted Downing last night that says:

Dear Fellow Patriots,

SB1557 passed the House of Representatives with a 51-0 vote! Then, it immediately passed the Senate 25 to 3! It is now on its way to our Good Governor’s desk. As planned, it includes the Paton Amendment that I helped draft (see Star description below). Karen Osborn, the Maricopa County Elections Director calls this one of the most significant election reform bills in decades.
This election reform bill is the result of three years of working with the Pima County Democratic Party and the great work of Dr. Tom Ryan, Bill Risner, Esq., our current and former Pima County Democratic Party Chairs, and many, many more dedicated individuals. I want to specially thank each and every one of you for your dedication, your hard work, and your support in working for election integrity.

Now focus on the Governor to make certain that she signs it right away. I am confident she will. It will become law upon her signature, since it contains an emergency provision. We still must await Department of Justice approval which should be expedited because of the emergency provision. At that point, hand counts will no longer be illegal and we will have a first-level audit of the election system. This is, however, just the beginning.

Politics is a team effort. As hard as it may be for many to accept, the East-Mesa Republican Senator Karen Johnson merits thank you emails, (kjohnson@azleg.gov), as does Karen Osborne, kosborne@risc.maricopa.gov (602) 506-7960, and yes, Brad Nelson, brad.nelson@pima.gov (520) 631-3939. Even Rep. Russell Pearce (rpearce@azleg.gov) should be thanked, yes, that’s right and I know its hard, but he fought to assure that our elections are fair. We will continue to disagree on almost every other issue, but he wants a fair count.

I hope each PC will take the time next year to come up to visit the Legislature and witness your legislature at work. Those of you who have tell me that it is not what they imagined.

You are true patriots for protecting our system of government just as those brave men and women did at the founding of this great nation. Thank you and bless you.

Ted Downing
State Representative LD28
tdowning@azleg.state.az.us
Capitol 602 926 5108 toll free 800 352-8494 ext 6-5108 Capitol fax 602
417 3128 Legislative profile:
http://www.azleg.state.a...ersPage.asp?Member_ID=16
professional profile: www.ted-downing.com

The Arizona Daily Star article mentioned in Representative Downing's email can be found here.