Arizona Sen. Ugenti-Rita would scrap ballot drop boxes as secretary of state

Jun 23, 2022, 9:00 AM

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)...

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX – State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita said that Arizona voting procedures could do with some work, starting with pulling ballot drop boxes.

“I would remove the ballot boxes from the Elections Procedure Manual,” Ugenti-Rita told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday. “Right now that’s where the authority for those drop-off boxes exists. I don’t think those drop-off boxes are necessary.”

The Republican lawmaker from Scottsdale is running for secretary of state, a position that doubles as Arizona’s top election officer.

She said ballot drop boxes, particularly on Election Day, slow the voting process and undermine vote by mail.

“What happens when you allow drop-off on the day of, it extends and exasperates the counting, the tabulation of those ballots,” Ugenti-Rita said. “… People want timely results and they deserve them.”

Ugenti-Rita thinks Arizonans have plenty of existing options for voting without drop boxes.

“If you want to vote by mail, you need to vote by mail,” she said.

“If you don’t, you can utilize voting in person, either early or day of. We have to stop making all of these exceptions to the rules because that weakens the system as a whole.”

Ugenti-Rita previously sponsored a measure to remove inactive voters from the state’s early-voter list.

While she was in the state House, she sponsored legislation banning ballot harvesting.

“What I would tell the public is you need to have a vote-by-mail system and the best one is to have one that you opt in every election cycle,” Ugenti-Rita said.

“That way you’re not maintaining a list. A lot of states do it that way – that would be an important reform.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona Sen. Ugenti-Rita would scrap ballot drop boxes as secretary of state