Journalists’ Roundtable: 10-14-22: Debate Over Debates for Governor and more

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It’s Friday and that means it’s time for the journalists’ roundtable. Joining us tonight for a look at the week’s top stories are Mary Jo Pitzl of the Arizona Republic & azcentral.com, Camryn Sanchez of Arizona Capitol Times and Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services.

This week’s top stories include:

  • Debates Over Debates
  • Cochise County Hand Count
  • Yavapai County Ballot Box Monitors
  • Pinal County Elections Director Pay
  • Masters Backtracks on Election Denials

Election Returns – Cochise County Hand Count

Mary Jo Pitzl: In Cochise County in southeastern Arizona, “two of the three members of the board of supervisors say they have heard from voters, a lot of people who are part of a group called ‘We the People,’ that have continued distrust in the elections. And they believe that a hand count is the most reliable thing to do.”

This week, there was discussion on how to start the hand count. However, the attorney who advises the board says that implementing this hand count is not allowed because there is no authorization in the Elections Procedures Manual.

Yavapai County Ballot Box Monitors

There are drop boxes in Yavapai County, usually placed in front of government offices. Two groups, one named Lions of Liberty have said that they will have people staked out in front of each drop box at all times. They will take pictures of people and retrieve their license plate number if it seems like they are dropping off multiple ballots. Even under the state’s ballot harvesting law, it is okay to drop off the ballot of anyone who lives with you, according to Fischer.

Howie Fischer: “There’s a fine line between being in a public place and watching a ballot box, and voter intimidation.”

There are several factors that contribute to whether this is voter intimidation or not. For example, there is a first amendment right to be armed and right to be in a public place, but having threats made would be a clear indication of intimidation.

Mary Jo Pitzl, the Arizona Republic & azcentral.com; Camryn Sanchez, Arizona Capitol Times; Howie Fischer, Capitol Media Services

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