"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
What would it take for us to know that Arizona’s elections are free and fair? Our entire Constitutional Republic relies upon free and fair elections. Right now, many Americans believe that our elections are neither free nor fair, violating the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution insuring citizens equal protection under the law.
It is the duty of the Arizona legislature to pass laws that assure the people that when they vote, their vote has meaning; that the process for counting and tabulating votes is honest; and that the announced winner of an election is really the choice of Arizona voters. Right now, many people have no confidence in the voting process.
One way to assure voters that their elections are honest, would be to have all voters appear in person, show identification, and then be given a ballot. All ballots would be marked, and all votes cast in person. All ballots would be counted by hand. Precincts would have to consist of no more than 1,000 registered voters. Ballots would be counted within each precinct on the evening of the election. Precinct totals would be reported to a central counting location where the tally from all precincts would be assembled, counted, and winners announced. Each step would be documented.
Instead of buying more voting machines, poll workers could be paid to hand count all ballots.
Another approach would be to use machines, but to allow fast and easy confirmation of vote counts.
One week prior to each election, release to the public an online list of the names of all registered voters eligible to vote, sortable by name, address, and precinct. Ineligible voters could be identified and reported to polling places before the election, to prevent illegal votes from being cast.
Within one week after each election, release to the public images of each ballot cast via a searchable database. Each ballot would be uniquely numbered so that it could be found and quickly identified, if necessary.
Within one week after each election, release to the public a, “Cast Vote Record,” which is a searchable online spreadsheet which shows each numbered ballot on a separate row. The voter’s selections in the election would be shown on the same row as the ballot number. The bottom row of the spreadsheet would show totals of votes in each column for each candidate or issue.
One week after each election, release to the public an online sortable list of who actually voted, including the name, address and precinct of each voter.
This system would allow any member of the public to verify who voted, whether they were entitled to vote, and confirm that vote tallies for each candidate are accurate. Unfortunately, although it would show any discrepancies, they would be uncovered after the election was conducted. For that reason, election results should not become official until 15 days after the Cast Vote Record is made public. Any violations of election laws need to be promptly and vigorously prosecuted by the state Attorney General, to impress upon those intent on vote tampering, that they will pay a steep price for violating our election laws.