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New law aims to hold Arizona counties to uniform early ballot policies

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PHOENIX — An election year is upcoming and new Arizona laws are already working to avoid past ballot debacles.

A bill passed in the most recent state legislative session and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in June will work to ensure all counties take the same amount of time to verify early ballot signatures.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday that the law was designed to hold all 15 Arizona counties to the same voting practices and time frames.

“This creates consistency across counties.” Hobbs said. “It allows voters to correct or confirm their inconsistent signature for up to 5 days after federal elections or 3 days after non-federal elections.”

She said the law was born out of previous concerns over ballot signatures during the 2018 midterm elections

“It became really evident that some counties were doing this already, some counties were not doing it at all and some counties were doing it up until Election Day,” Hobbs said.

During the last midterm election there were several close calls, specifically in the U.S. Senate race between Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema. Hobbs said in those types of cases, voting tabulation may take longer to be finalized.

“We just want to make sure that every single vote that should be counted is counted and this law will ensure that it happens,” she said. “It very well might affect the outcome of a close election, but that’s what we’re supposed to do.”

However, she said ultimately this law will not directly impact how long it takes for election results to be announced.

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