Counting The Cost: What Georgia Can Learn From A Hand Count Experiment in Arizona
Georgians concerned about election integrity or interested in hand-counting ballots, look to a recent experiment in Arizona
Mohave County, AZ has approximately 74,000 registered Republicans and just over 19,000 Democrats. The county recently shared the results of a hand count tabulation experiment.
The experiment involved counting 850 ballots, each having an average of 36 races, amounting to over 30,600 contests in total.
The estimated additional cost to hand count races in the 2024 elections, compared to machine counting, is around $1.14 million - excluding the possibility of recounts, which further increase costs.
The hand count's error rate was 5.4%, a stark contrast to the maximum machine error rate for certified equipment at 0.00001%.
The county would need approximately 330 additional temporary workers to hand count the ballots, effectively doubling their usual election operations.
The county authorities expressed doubt that an equal number of volunteers from the major political parties would sign up to work.
The time and money that would be spent on data entry and quality assurance were not accounted for in the cost estimate.
Although the report was initially available online, it has since been unavailable from the county website.
The number of voters in Mohave, AZ is comparable to the combined numbers in Walker and Catoosa Counties in northwest Georgia, so the AZ experiment is relevant to Georgians.
While the Republican Parties in both Walker and Catoosa have not officially endorsed or called for hand counting, there are individuals who are in favor of such lunacy influencing them.
In Walker County, the Republican Party recently announced an event titled “Election Integrity Face-off,” which will include “experts” who travel around the country preaching the gospel of hand-counting and election fraud. No word on whether a band of Grift & Hucksters will provide the evening’s entertainment. Website of “expert” here.
While in Catoosa, the leaders of the Republican party are making changes of a more direct nature. The party will not reappoint longtime member and current chair of the county elections and registrations board, Ricky Kittle. Kittle has received acclaim state-wide for his service and knowledge of elections and registration, but that matters little to the jackals leading the Catoosa GOP.
Georgians, take note of the cautionary tale unfolding in Arizona. The quiet yet significant moves in northwest Georgia towards ludicrously expensive and outright irrational changes to our electoral procedure require a strong dose of harsh truth.