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Mayes rescinds informal opinion from Brnovich approving election hand counts

By Greg Hahne
Bob Christie/Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2023 - 4:01pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2023 - 7:23am

Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes has rescinded an informal opinion from her Republican predecessor that said counties could hand count all ballots in an election.

Mayes issued a formal opinion in its place saying existing election laws bar counties from implementing full hand counts of ballots.

The new opinion falls in line with a judge’s ruling that blocked Cochise County officials from doing such a count in November’s election.

While opinions from the attorney general are not legally binding, judges can look to them for guidance on interpreting state law.

Mayes wrote that former Attorney General Mark Brnovich had misinterpreted the law, and that his office should not have issued an informal opinion in a similar manner as a formal one.