Arizona Voting Data Trucked to Montana: Ballots & Boundaries

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The Arizona state Senate’s unusual review of 2020 ballots cast in the state’s most populous county is just days from wrapping up, though questions will continue about how the examination was conducted and the background of the consultant running the audit.

Here’s the latest:

  • Election data was trucked to Montana by a private company, the Arizona Republic reports.
  • CNN found that the “secure lab” temporarily housing the data looks like a remote cabin.
  • The legal department for vendor Cyber Ninjas has an address tied to a UPS store, CNN reports.
  • The physical review is on track to end by Thursday, according to pool reports, with written conclusions to follow in several weeks.

Prodded by some Donald Trump insults, Pennsylvania could go next.

Four days after a statement from the former president asked if the chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee was “stupid, corrupt, or naive” for not being on board with an Arizona-style ballot audit, state Sen. David Argall (R) said he’s OK with “doing it one more time to try to answer the concerns that people have,” reports Spotlight PA. — Brenna Goth

Photographer: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images
Contractors for Cyber Ninjas check Maricopa County ballots last month as part of an election audit.

NEW YORK: TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Voters from majority-Black neighborhoods in the upstate New York city of Troy went without easily accessible early-voting locations ahead of today’s municipal primary.

A state Supreme Court judge ordered the Board of Elections in Rensselaer County to set up early-voting sites that would be easier for low-income and communities of color ot reach. Then the action was put on hold pending appeal. A hearing on that appeal will take place after the primary. — Keshia Clukey

LOUISIANA: PRESIDENTIAL PRIORITY

Three extra days of early voting will be added to Louisiana’s election calendar—but only during presidential election years.

In signing the extended early voting period (H.B. 286) into law, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) praised lawmakers for avoiding “partisan efforts to limit access to voting.” Still on the governor’s desk: bills that would allow political parties to have more poll watchers, add ID requirements for returning absentee ballots, and require votes to be cast on paper ballots instead of machines. — Jennifer Kay

POST-REDISTRICTING: ‘HEADWINDS’

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), who leads the political arm of the 95-member New Democrat Coalition, says Democrats at risk of losing their campaigns after redistricting shuffles seats in 2022 need to do a better job “reaching out to people during the entire two-year cycle” instead of just before the election.

“We know it’s not going to be easy. We know there are a lot of headwinds working against us. But history doesn’t determine the future,” Schneider said on Bloomberg Government’s “Downballot Counts” podcast. — Greg Giroux

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REDISTRICTING: OBAMA ON GERRYMANDERING

In a Monday conference call with grassroots supporters, former President Barack Obama said political parties should fight extremism by resisting the urge to lock in a 10-year advantage during redistricting.

“Political gerrymandering reduces the power of ordinary people while allowing insiders with money and influence to consolidate their power,” he said. “And because the voices of ordinary people get drowned out, gerrymandering pushes political parties to extremes and makes compromise more difficult, and less gets done.” — Kenneth P. Doyle

See also: How Democrats Are ‘Unilaterally Disarming’ in Redistricting (Politico)

COLORADO: TECHNICAL CHANGE OR ANTI-RECALL SHIELD?

Colorado Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg (D) calls a voting bill he sponsored (S.B. 250) mostly “boring and technical” and intended to help voters, in part by increasing election transparency. The bill would give targets of recall campaigns an opportunity to defend themselves on the petitions circulated to qualify for the ballot.

Petitions also “shall not” include any profane or false statements, according to the bill. Columnist and talk show host Jimmy Sengenberger, who opposes the bill, says it would become harder to pull off recall elections and may also present some First Amendment problems. — Tripp Baltz

SPOILER ALERT: NOT FULLY PARTISAN
Following up on a U.S. Senate floor speech by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Washington Post fact-checked whether adding restrictions to state voting law has been a one-party endeavor.

“The new voting measures in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Utah each had a group of Democratic state lawmakers voting in favor. In Oklahoma, the Republican-led bill had Democratic co-sponsors in the legislature, and in Kentucky, the governor who signed the law is Democrat Andy Beshear.” — Washington Post

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Ballots & Boundaries is your weekly check-in as states change voting laws and revise political districts. To get it delivered to your inbox, click HERE .

To contact the editors responsible for this newsletter: Tina May at tmay@bloomberglaw.com; Katherine Rizzo at krizzo@bgov.com

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