EXCLUSIVE- AZ State Sen. Kelly Townsend: I Will Vote ‘Yes’ on 2026 Election Reform Bill After 2022 Reforms Are Passed

Kelly Townsend
Kelly Townsend

Arizona State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-16) explained her recent “no” vote on an election integrity bill that would have tightened the rules for maintaining lists of voters who are automatically mailed absentee ballots in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Tuesday.

“I demand reform for the 2022 election, and will only vote ‘yes’ on the 2026 election reform bill after the 2022 election reform bills are passed,” Townsend told Breitbart News on Tuesday.

Townsend told Breitbart News that Senate Bill 1485, which she voted “no” on last week, is really a 2026 election reform bill, not a 2022 election reform bill, “because it will take four years from passage before voters who miss elections will be purged from the voter list to automatically receive absentee ballots.”

“I am not killing the bill [Senate Bill 1485]. I will vote ‘yes’ on the bill upon reconsideration when it is brought back, only after election reform for 2022 is passed,” Townsend added.

“Those election reform bills for 2022 include, first, adding additional observers to ensure the chain of custody of the removable data storage devices such as the SD cards that contain the results, the thumb drives that contain the images of the adjudicated ballots, and the hard drives of the tabulation machines. This is my number one priority,” Townsend said.

“Second, we must deal with the security of the tabulation machines themselves to prohibit internet connectivity from these machines before, during, and after the election,” Townsend added.

“Third, we had serious problems with observers being kicked out during the counting of election results and during signature verifications. Tightening up the elections process to permit legally authorized election observers to effectively observe the proceedings must happen,” Townsend noted.

“None of these three election integrity reforms have been enacted in Arizona for the 2022 election,” Townsend told Breitbart News.

As Breitbart News reported earlier this week:

The Republican-controlled Arizona State Senate failed to pass an election integrity bill that tightens the rules for maintaining lists of voters who automatically are mailed absentee ballots Thursday when State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-16) surprised her colleagues by joining with all 14 Democrats who voted no when the bill came to the floor.

Senate Bill 1485 maintains the language of the current Arizona statute that, “Any voter may request to be included on a list of voters to receive an early ballot for any election for which the county voter registration roll is used to prepare the election register,” but specifies a new requirement that a voter who has previously requested to be added to that list of early ballot recipients shall be removed from that list if, “the voter fails to vote an early ballot in both the primary election and the general election for two consecutive primary and general elections for which there was a federal, statewide, or legislative race on the ballot.”

“I will be sitting down with Senate President Karen Fann tomorrow afternoon to discuss addressing these issues before the end of session,” Townsend added.

“I have confidence in the Senate President that she is willing to help me find a solution,” Townsend concluded.

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