OP-ED FROM MOHAVE COUNTY DISTRICT 5 SUPERVISOR RON GOULD

Published by The Bee News

February 13, 2023

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The sanctity of our political system lies in the notion that every vote counts. This fundamental belief, which is the
cornerstone of democratic societies and republics like ours, is threatened when close elections are not counted
accurately. In last year’s Attorney General race we saw first-hand how important it is to make sure every lawful vote
is counted.

Every vote matters, but we are never more aware of this than in a close election. Every vote that is legally cast must
be counted to ensure that the election outcome is accurate and reflects the will of the people. Any attempt to
disenfranchise voters by excluding their votes from the final count is a direct attack on our representative democracy
itself. Therefore, it is essential that every vote cast be counted, regardless of the political or ideological affiliations of
the voters. Since the November 2022 general election, we have seen this issue arise in other counties, first in Maricopa
County where they ran an abysmal Election Day, and then in Pinal County, where the county government certified an
election that was marred in problems.

The government has a duty to be transparent in the counting of votes in a close election. This means that all parties
involved, including election officials, must be open and transparent about the process of vote counting and the
methodology used to determine the election outcome. This is particularly important in close elections, like the Attorney
General’s race, which is the closest election in Arizona history. Not inspecting all of the ballots or counting all of the
votes challenges the validity of the election.

Transparency in the vote-counting process is critical to ensuring the integrity of the election outcome. It is important
that the public is able to observe the process of vote counting and that they have confidence in the accuracy of the
final count. This will help to build trust in the electoral process and ensure that the outcome of the election reflects the
will of the people.

The courts play a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy of election outcomes in close elections. They serve as the
arbiters of justice, responsible for interpreting the law and resolving disputes.

When the validity of an election outcome is in question, it is the responsibility of the courts to ensure that every legal
vote is counted, and that the election outcome reflects the will of the people. This means that the courts must be
impartial, fair, and act with the utmost integrity in their decision-making processes.

Abe Hamadeh’s election contest deserves another trial. When the government withholds key evidence from the court
and a litigant, it undermines both the integrity of the election process and of the justice system itself. A new trial will
help to build trust in the electoral process and ensure that the election outcome is seen as fair, accurate, and reflective
of the will of the people. A failure to count every legal vote in a close election threatens to undermine the legitimacy
of the government and the credibility of the election outcome, and risks disenfranchising voters who have exercised
their right to participate in the democratic process.

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