Journalists’ Roundtable: Election timeline fix, Sinema compromise fails and more

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It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for another edition of Journalists’ Roundtable. To discuss this week’s top stories, we were joined by Wayne Schutsky of KJZZ, Ron Hansen of The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, and Mary Jo Pitzl of The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com.

This week’s Journalists’ Roundtable covered:

  • Election timeline fix
  • Sinema compromise fails
  • Hostage claims by House Democrat
  • Anna Tovar not running for reelection
  • Hendrix vs. Bad Doctor’s bill

Will Arizona’s new election timeline law impact voters?

Wayne Schutsky: “There was a recount law passed a few years back, it lowered the margin of victory that would trigger a recount, potentially causing more recounts to happen. Our county election officials were worried that with more recounts, it would take longer after the primary general election. The two big deadlines would be to send ballots to overseas military members and to submit the state presidential electors. The counties have been sounding the alarm about it for a while.”

Ron Hansen: “They operate under a number of different deadlines; they had to move quickly. I think this whole thing is really sort of an acknowledgment that Arizona, as a competitive state right now, that is not changing. And the threat of this doing real harm on a number of different fronts was something that created a sense of urgency.”

Mary Jo Pitzl: “The recount law was created because of how narrow Biden’s victory was here in 2020. Under the standard at the time, there was no need for a recount: you know he won by less than 11,000 votes. Republican lawmakers came back and said, ‘We better have a better look at that.’ So they raised it by half a percentage point. We got three recounts in the 2022 election.”

Sinema compromise fails

Hansen: “This was something that was a disappointment for her. She really put a lot of energy into trying to pull together a bipartisan border security bill that had a possibility of earning support, certainly in her chamber. This would have neutralized an issue that was giving Democrats a lot of pain.”

Schutsky: “I think it’s very notable the way she’s speaking. Any journalist who has interviewed Senator Sinema knows that typically when you ask her to comment on negotiations, she prefers to let that stuff take place behind closed doors. The fact that she’s bringing it up shows how frustrated she is.”

Pitzl: “I also wonder if this is her goodbye speech to the Senate. I mean, to speak out like that against her colleagues is very unusual.”

Wayne Schutsky, KJZZ
Ron Hansen, The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com

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