Rep. Mark Finchem: Ballot Watermarks and Increased Mail-in Voting Standards are Needed to Protect Election Security

Arizona state Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) is running for secretary of state, and he recently shared his thoughts on how he could reform the election process in that position and in a state suffering a crisis of confidence in elections.

“There are a couple things we have on the radar. One of those is a ballot fraud security countermeasures process that would put a UV-light activated watermark onto ballots. In doing that, we are able to serialize the sheets of paper so that we know what is the defined universe of ballots that are in the system, of ballots that have been issued that are available,” Finchem told Big League Politics Live.

“If we are able to put a watermark and a serialization onto the paper, that means we can account for the number of ballots. Now, of course, that would not be tied to the voters so we would still have an anonymous voting system,” he added.

Finchem also wants to make sure that voters can verify if their ballots have been counted and personally make sure their ballots have not been intercepted by a third party. He does not call for an end to mail-in voting entirely but believes that additional security measures can be implemented to secure the process.

“There are a lot of people calling to end the mail ballot system. That’s been run in Arizona here for 20 years. I think that’s probably here to stay, but I do have a problem with electronic equipment counting ballots that appears to be calculating as opposed to tabulating,” Finchem said.

He said that much of his policy still hinges upon the results of the ongoing Maricopa County audit of ballots and counting machines. Finchem says he has received death threats and endured other harassment since announcing his run for secretary of state.

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