Is Arizona banning electronic voting machines ahead of the 2024 presidential election?
No, Arizona is not banning electronic voting machines ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
WHAT WE FOUND
The state of Arizona is not banning electronic voting machines ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
In March, the Arizona State Legislature passed Senate Concurrent Resolution (S.C.R.) 1037, which seeks to prohibit counties in the state from using electronic voting machines manufactured outside of the U.S. during federal elections, according to the resolution’s text.
A concurrent resolution is a type of resolution processed through both houses of the Arizona State Legislature but they are not signed into law by the governor. Concurrent resolutions, like S.C.R. 1037, are generally used to make or amend rules that apply to both houses or used to express the sentiments of both houses, but they are non-binding and do not have the force of law, meaning election officials in the state are not obligated to follow them.
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) vetoed similar, binding legislation in April. Senate Bill 1074 prohibited the use of electronic voting equipment manufactured outside of the U.S. as the primary method for counting votes during federal elections in the state unless certain technical standards were met. In an April 6 letter, Hobbs wrote that the election equipment “required by the bill, as well as the problem it purports to solve, does not exist.”
On May 22, Arizona Senate majority leader Sonny Borrelli (R-Ariz.), who sponsored the vetoed Senate Bill 1074, sent a letter to county officials in the state, telling them they were prohibited from using electronic voting systems in the state of Arizona in future federal elections “unless those systems meet the requirements set forth in S.C.R. 1037.”
Citing the U.S. Constitution, Borrelli attempted to use the legislative passage of S.C.R. 1037 to override Hobbs’s veto of Senate Bill 1074. Borrelli wrote in his letter that it was now the Arizona State Legislature’s duty to exercise its “plenary” authority or power in regard to S.C.R. 1037. “Plenary power” is defined as “power that is wide-ranging, broadly construed, and often limitless for all practical purposes.”
But Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) addressed Borrelli's letter in a May 22 statement, saying that S.C.R. 1037 “is non-binding and does not have the force of law.” Current Arizona state law has no rules on the type of electronic voting machines used during federal elections, according to Fontes.
“Election equipment must be certified by the federal and state government by specific requirements outlined in federal and state law. That certification process is being followed in Arizona and all applicable election equipment being used in Arizona is certified,” Fontes said.
“If those requirements or certification process were to be changed, it would require a regular bill to be passed by the legislature and signed by the governor—which is not the case for this non-binding resolution,” Fontes continued.
Other lawmakers in the state have also issued statements criticizing Borrelli’s letter to county officials.
“A single member of the Arizona State Senate cannot make laws or direct other divisions of government to take actions counter to state law,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman told the Arizona Mirror.
“This is just a resolution which carries no weight in law. By sending out (a letter) on official state letterhead, it will needlessly confuse a lot of people who will erroneously believe that it is a fact,” Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson said.
VERIFY reached out to Borrelli’s office but did not hear back by the time of publication.