Appeals Court Weighing State Election Changes

November 13, 2013

The state Court of Appeals is debating whether judges should be able to order extra oversight of Arizona elections. Attorney William Risner contends state laws are insufficient to prevent tinkering with the computers that tally elections. Risner maintains not a single ballot is ever audited.

“It's simply somebody pushes a button and a piece of paper comes out,” Risner said. “They say here are the numbers. Here's who won and here's who lost.”

Risner says the courts should be able to use any evidence of rigging in an election to order new safeguards for future races.

But attorney Ronna Fickbohm, representing Pima County, says changing election procedures is the job of the state Legislature,

“You can't use an injunction to say, hey, judge, I've got a better idea about how the statutes should read than what the Legislature's done,” Fickbohm said.

If Risner wins it could pave the way for others to seek special rules for elections throughout the Arizona.