Governor Ducey: Protecting Arizona Voters

Arizona’s election laws make it easy to vote — but hard to cheat. Under Governor Doug Ducey’s leadership, Arizona continues to prioritize election integrity to further strengthen the process that makes our representative government a beacon of democracy.

Public confidence in voting is critical — it is the foundation upon which all our elections are built. This year, a number of election-related bills passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed by Governor Ducey send a clear message: every Arizonan eligible to vote will be able to vote, each of those votes will be counted and no one will be allowed to interfere with our elections.

In May, Governor Ducey signed Senate Bill 1485, which renames Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) to Active Early Voting List (AEVL). Under this legislation, if a voter on the AEVL actively votes by mail, they will continue to receive an early ballot. If a voter on the AEVL does not return at least one early ballot over the course of four years (two consecutive primary elections and general elections, and any municipal elections that precede them) the voter will be sent a postcard asking if they still want to receive an early ballot.

The county recorder may additionally reach the voter by telephone, text message, or e-mail. Whether a voter opts to remain on the AEVL or not, they remain eligible to request an early ballot or vote in-person, ensuring no voter is ever disenfranchised.
The Governor’s signing of SB 1485 is just one of the many actions he took during the 2021 legislative session to protect Arizona voters. Another is the signing of HB 2569, which prohibits elections officials from using private funding in our elections. And there are many more: 

Signing of SB 1002 – early voting envelopes; party affiliation (Ugenti-Rita)
Specifies that the early ballot envelope must also not reveal the voter’s political party affiliation.

Signing ofSB 1003 – early voting; signature required; notice (Ugenti-Rita)
Requires the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections to make reasonable efforts to contact the elector and advise them of the missing signature on an early ballot envelope.

Signing ofSB 1492 – election law amendments (Shope)
Makes various changes to statute relating to elections including modifications of various deadlines.

Signing of SB 1497 – ballot measures; proposition 105; disclosure (Ugenti-Rita)
Requires for initiatives and referendums that a Proposition 105 notice be printed by the Secretary of State in the publicity pamphlet, in bold-faced type immediately below the Legislative Council analysis of the initiative or referendum.

Signing ofSB 1530 – early ballots; instructions; undeliverable (Mesnard)
Makes a simple change regarding the envelopes that early ballots are mailed in, requiring the envelope that the ballot is mailed in state “If the addressee does not reside at this address, mark the unopened envelope “Return to Sender” and deposit it in the United States Mail.”

Signing ofSB 1714 – campaign expenditures; out of state; disclosures (Mesnard)
Makes several changes and additions to statute regarding campaign expenditures for out-of-state contributors as it relates to advertisements.

Signing ofHB 2054 – voter registration database; death records (Kaiser)
Requires, rather than allows, the Secretary of State to compare the death records transmitted annually by the Arizona Department of Health Services with the Statewide Voter Registration Database.

Signing of HB 2307 – voting equipment; overvote notice (Kavanagh)
Requires the county board of supervisors, if the voting equipment used for an election rejects over-voted ballots or ballots containing irregularities, to provide a written notice on or near the voting equipment in clear view that advises if the voter chooses to override the overvoted office or measure or any other ballot irregularity, then the voter’s vote for that office or measure will not be tallied.

Signing ofHB 2308 – recall petitions and elections; revisions (Kavanagh)
Makes a number of changes to recall petition submissions and circulations as well as to recall elections. The bill creates consistency between initiatives, referenda and recalls. 

Signing ofHB 2359 – election equipment; access; locks (Kavanagh)
Requires voting machines and electronic pollbooks containing data ports, plugs, doors, and other methods of physical or electronic access to be secured in a manner preventing unauthorized access to the voting machine or electronic pollbook during an election.

Veto ofHB 2360 – committee; driver license voter registrations (Kavanagh)
Would have directed the Secretary of State to maintain and operate the driver license voter registration system with a committee of county recorders by December 31, 2021.

Signing of HB 2362 – elections; ballot privacy folders (Kavanagh)
Requires an election board judge to give a ballot privacy folder to a qualified elector along with the elector’s ballot when voting at a polling location. Specifies that a voter is not required to accept or use a ballot privacy folder.

Signing of HB 2363 – municipal election officers; certification training (Kavanagh)
Allows a city or town to train its own election employees if the training program is approved by the Secretary of State.

Signing of HB 2364 – election pamphlet submittals; identification required (Kavanagh)
Adds to the identification requirements for informational and publicity pamphlet submissions for school district override, initiative and bond elections.

Signing of HB 2569 – elections; private funding; prohibition (Hoffman)
Prohibits the state, city, town, county, school district or other public body that conducts or administers elections from receiving or expending private monies for preparing, administering or conducting an election, including registering voters.

Signing ofHB 2794 – election deadlines; modifications prohibited (Hoffman)
Stipulates that a political subdivision, agent or officer of this state or any other governmental entity may not alter or agree to alter any deadline, submittal date, filing date or other election-related date that is provided for in statute.

Signing ofHB 2905– early ballots; request required (Hoffman) 
Prohibits a county recorder, city or town clerk or other election officer from delivering or mailing an early ballot to a person who has not requested an early ballot for that election or a person who is not on the active early voting list. Any violation by an election officer will be classified as a class 5 felony. 

Strengthening our electoral system was not the only legislation enacted that will benefit people all across the state. Arizona is banning critical race theory in schools, implementing historic tax reform, protecting education freedom and more. Details on the reform-centered bills signed into law by the Governor can be found HERE.

Speaker Rusty Bowers Addresses Calls for the Legislature to Overturn 2020 Certified Election Results

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers today issued the following statement:

This week, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, and others representing President Donald Trump came to Arizona with a breathtaking request:  that the Arizona Legislature overturn the certified results of last month’s election and deliver the state’s electoral college votes to President Trump.  The rule of law forbids us to do that.

Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Ellis made their case here at least twice—on Monday, at an unofficial public gathering hosted by a small group of legislators; and again on Tuesday, during a closed-door meeting at the State Capitol with Republican leaders from both chambers of the Legislature.  Both times, the Trump team made claims that the election was tainted by fraud but presented only theories, not proof.  U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr said on Tuesday that he, too, has “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome of the election.”

Even if such evidence existed, the Arizona Legislature simply couldn’t do what is being asked.  Under our state’s constitution, the Legislature can act only when it is in session, and the Legislature could call itself into a special session only with the support of a bipartisan supermajority of its members.

That won’t materialize, but even if did, the Legislature couldn’t provide the recourse the President’s team seeks.  The U.S. Constitution authorizes each state to appoint presidential electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.”  For decades, Arizona law has required that the voters elect the state’s electors on Election Day—this year, on November 3rd.  And under a law the Republican-led Legislature passed just three years ago, the state’s electors are required to cast their votes for the candidates who received the most votes in the official statewide election canvass.  Enacted after the 2016 presidential election, in which President Trump won the electoral college but not the popular vote, the law was aimed at ensuring that Arizona’s electors would remain faithful to the vote of the people.

So under current Arizona law, the presidential electors who were elected on November 3 must, after the canvass is completed, vote for the winners of the popular vote.  Nothing in the U.S. Constitution or the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court even suggests that the Arizona Legislature could retroactively appoint different electors who would cast their ballots for different candidates.  The Trump legal team has cited McPherson v. Blacker (1892), to claim that the legislature can “resume the power [to appoint electors] at any time.”  And it is true that the Arizona Legislature could alter the method of appointing electors prospectively.  But it cannot undo the election of electors whom the voters already voted for.  As the Supreme Court made clear in Bush v. Gore (2000), “[w]hen the state legislature vests the right to vote for President in its people, the right to vote as the legislature has prescribed is fundamental.”

No election is perfect, and if there were evidence of illegal votes or an improper count, then Arizona law provides a process to contest the election: a lawsuit under state law.  But the law does not authorize the Legislature to reverse the results of an election.

As a conservative Republican, I don’t like the results of the presidential election.  I voted for President Trump and worked hard to reelect him.  But I cannot and will not entertain a suggestion that we violate current law to change the outcome of a certified election.

I and my fellow legislators swore an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and the constitution and laws of the state of Arizona.  It would violate that oath, the basic principles of republican government, and the rule of law if we attempted to nullify the people’s vote based on unsupported theories of fraud.  Under the laws that we wrote and voted upon, Arizona voters choose who wins, and our system requires that their choice be respected.

Forty years ago next month, President Ronald Reagan reminded us that while the “orderly transfer of authority” is a “commonplace occurrence” for Americans, “[i]n the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.”  Now, Americans are being reminded once again never to take for granted what President Reagan correctly described as “the continuity which is the bulwark of our Republic.”

Sal DiCiccio: BLM Mural Backpedaling

Phoenix City Councilman released the following statement Thursday evening regarding a response by City Manager Ed Zuercher to BLM activists:

This is Government Speak for: “Public would have handed us our ass if we allowed the BLM mural to happen.”

Never underestimate political self-preservation.

We Win Again!!!

Sal DiCiccio
City of Phoenix
Councilman, District 6

America Needs Conservative Journalists!

Journalism is among America’s least trusted professions. I know, that’s not a big surprise…

In fact, when asked if they trust the honest and ethical standards of the media, Americans put journalists below most professions, and trust them only slightly more than car salespeople and Congressmen.

Now, more than ever, conservative journalists must use their voices to report the facts and speak over all of the lies. 

If you’re interested in a career in journalism, now is the time to be proactive. 

The Leadership Institute’s annual Journalism Career School will help you succeed in journalism by teaching you the skills to succeed and build your network of conservative journalists. 

Click the link below to learn more and register!
What: Journalism Career School
When: Thursday – Friday, September 17 – 18 | 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM EDT
Where: Online
How to register: Sign up by September 14 for $40!
Register here
Whether you aspire to be on television or pursue a career as a writer, the Journalism Career School will give you the tools to succeed.

You will learn how to:Traditional Journalism: You will learn how to get a job with a publication, build and use contacts in media, and write stories that get you noticed.Broadcast Journalism: You will learn how to get yourself on camera, as well as practice and analyze your television techniques in LI’s studios.Watchdog and Citizen Journalism: You will learn how to build your following online, as well as how to create your own publication and videos that get you noticed!Register today so you don’t miss out!

2020 AZ Primary Early Vote Wrap-Up

What happened and what it means for November

With the primary election tomorrow, we’re giving you our takeaways from the early vote data. There are still tens of thousands of ballots to be cast on Election Day, but the ballots mailed back thus far paint an interesting picture.

Here are the high-level highlights you need to know going into Tuesday:

  • 1,063,828 Ballots Cast
  • 2,316,329 Ballots Requested
  • 45.6% Return Rate
  • 26.7% Turnout
  • 0.9% Democrat Ballot Advantage (representing 9,900 ballots) 

Interesting takeaways: 

  1. Turnout is high: We have seen more overall ballots returned than ever before in a primary election – 1,063,828. As a comparison, we saw about 835,000 ballots returned in 2018 and 682,000 in 2016. While we don’t know yet if these are people who would usually drop their ballots off, we are on pace to hit at least 30% overall turnout.
  2. Democratic turnout is exceeding Republican turnout: While we don’t know how Election Day turnout will fare, we are on pace to see something that we haven’t seen in Arizona in at least the last two decades – more Democratic ballots cast than Republican ballots. There is some hope for Republicans, though, Democrats have 1.4% more of their ballots returned. That 1.4% represents about 15,000 Republican ballots.   
  3. More Independents have cast Democratic ballots than Republican: In Arizona, Independents can choose to vote in either party primary or cast a non-partisan ballot. This year, they have cast a total of 117,845 ballots and about 8,800 more in Democratic primaries than Republican. As a comparison, in the previous two cycles Independents have cast between 10,000 and 12,000 more ballots in Republican primaries than in the Democratic primaries.

While primary turnout does not specifically correlate to general election performance, Republicans need a big Election Day performance to mitigate some of these troubling numbers. Democrats have not traditionally had a lot of primary elections – which has driven down their turnout in the last two cycles – but high turnout this year is occurring in places with and without contested primaries on the Democratic side. 
We will have at least one additional update from Maricopa and Pima counties today that can be seen here. Stay tuned for a full debrief post-election to see if these trends from mailed early ballots held or if the trends simply represented Democratic voters mailing in versus dropping off on Election Day because of COVID concerns.

*Data is current as of 8/02/20 at 6:00pm*
Looking ahead to the General Election
 As mentioned before, we decided to share our entire primary ballot tracker with the public but will be providing general election early vote tracking via paid subscription only. We apologize for any confusion we may have caused in our previous email regarding the general election subscription model. We will continue to release basic, high level numbers publicly for the general election (total ballots and party breakdown, statewide only) but for those looking for greater detail and analysis, we will be offering two subscription levels.

Level One will provide full current year breakdowns similar to what is currently shown on our primary election tracker.

Level Two will have comparison data for the previous two cycles and will add in additional filtration features.

If you have any questions or would like to subscribe for the general election tracker, you can contact Data Orbital here

ABOUT DATA ORBITAL: 

Data Orbital is a full-service data solutions and survey research firm with local, state, and national experience.  We offer precise data solutions, informed by political and policy intelligence, so our clients can chart the right course through the corporate or political landscape ahead. 

Scottsdale Candidate Releases YouTube Ad

Scottsdale City Council candidate Michael Auerbach released the following ad on YouTube called Blue Lives Matter.

Rep. Petersen Introduces Bill to Stop Rollovers of K-12 Funding

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R-12) issued a statement today regarding legislation he has introduced for the 2020 session that would amend the state constitution to prohibit K-12 rollovers, ensuring that education funding is delivered to our schools on time, and in full. A rollover represents a deferral of the payment from the year in which the obligation was incurred to the next fiscal year.

Rep Warren Petersen
Rep. Warren Petersen (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

“In the mid-2000s, Arizona implemented budget gimmicks like K-12 rollovers to counter poor fiscal decisions and a faltering economy,” said Representative Petersen.  “Fortunately, under conservative leadership, Arizona has righted its fiscal ship and the economy is strong.  But we need to be prepared for a future downturn.  Arizona has taken some excellent decisions like paying off debt and amassing a billion-dollar rainy day fund.  Now it’s time to eliminate the K-12 rollover and prevent future utilization.  A statutory change would be too easy to go around.  That’s why I have introduced a constitutional amendment to prohibit the deferment of K-12 payments from one budget year to the next.”

OHPI: Trump Impeachment – A Closer Look

Impeachment is a hot-button issue with high engagement among Arizonans

PHOENIX (Nov. 14, 2019) – Arizona’s registered Hispanic voters want to see Trump Impeached but the president’s main base, white male voters, are sticking with him a new poll shows.

A majority of Arizona’s Hispanic voters would like to see the president impeached and removed with 57% in favor, 37% against. Among non-Hispanic voters, only 39% favor impeachment and removal and 49% are against impeachment.

“Hispanics make up nearly one-third of Arizona’s total population and they are becoming more engaged at the ballot box,” said Mike Noble, Chief of Research and Managing Partner of Phoenix-based research company OH Predictive Insights. 

When it comes to gender, the divides are less clear. A slim majority of male registered voters in Arizona believe that Trump should not be impeached — 51%. While women are evenly split with 44% of female voters thinking that Trump should be impeached and removed and 44% thinking he shouldn’t be.

There are also differences among Arizona’s electorate on the impeachment question by age. By a 5-point margin, voters aged 54 and under believe that Trump should be impeached and removed. On the other hand, by a 17-point margin, more voters 55 and older think that the president should not be impeached and removed from office than think he should be.

Another constituency key with which Donald Trump will need to do well to win reelection in 2020 are voters who live in Maricopa County. Nearly 6 out of every 10 votes that are cast on election day comes from this county and in 2016 it voted for President Trump over Hillary Clinton by roughly 7 points. According to this poll, 46% of registered voters in Maricopa County would like to see Trump impeached and removed from office while only 42% would like him to stay in office.

Among regions in Arizona, Maricopa County has the highest level of support for impeachment. In Pima County, 51% of voters do not want President Trump to be impeached and removed compared to 41% who do. The president is viewed more favorably in the rest of Arizona, voters are against his impeachment by a 2-to-1 margin.

On another note, many Arizonans are engaged in the impeachment issue. For example, 43% of respondents have discussed the issue with someone else, 39% have watched more news on TV, and 30% have researched the issue online.

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MethodologyThis survey was conducted via an online opt-in panel. The survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights between October 31, 2019, and November 8, 2019 with respondents self-qualifying as registered to vote in Arizona. The sample is weighted to accurately reflect Arizona voter registration by region, party affiliation, gender, and age. The sample size was 900 completed surveys, with an MoE of ± 3.27%. Numbers may not total 100%, due to rounding.

OHPI POLL: To Impeach or Not to Impeach

POLL: More Arizonans Disapprove of Trump but Fewer Want Him Removed from Office

PHOENIX (Nov. 13, 2019) – With public impeachment hearings starting up this week, Arizonans are split on whether President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office, a poll released Wednesday shows.

The statewide poll among registered voters found 42 percent of Arizonans believe Trump should be impeached and removed and 47 percent do not believe he should be impeached.

The same poll also found Trump’s approval rating underwater in the Grand Canyon State. Fifty percent of Arizona registered voters disapprove of President Trump’s performance and 46% approve of his performance. 

Sentiment regarding Trump’s job performance is split on party lines with 82% of Republicans, 12% of Democrats, and 41% of Independents giving the president a positive rating.

On the question of impeachment, Arizonans are also split sharply along partisan lines. Democrats in Arizona believe Trump should be impeached by a 69-point margin (80 percent to 11 percent) and Republicans think Trump should stay in office by a similarly large 66-point margin (79 percent – 13 percent). While a majority of independent voters disapprove of the job Trump is doing in office, they are less certain that he should be removed from office. Only 39% of registered independents think that he should be removed and 46% think that he should remain in office.

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MethodologyThis survey was conducted via an online opt-in panel. The survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights between October 31, 2019, and November 8, 2019 with respondents self-qualifying as registered to vote in Arizona. The sample is weighted to accurately reflect Arizona voter registration by region, party affiliation, gender, and age. The sample size was 900 completed surveys, with an MoE of ± 3.27%. Numbers may not total 100%, due to rounding.

About OH Predictive Insights:
Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics, and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights will service political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing on key stakeholders and consumers. For more information, please call 602-402-5181 or submit a request online.

Removal of Pancho Villa Statue Denied

A conservative watchdog group’s attempt to have a downtown Tucson statue removed was denied after a unanimous vote last week by the Public Art and Community Design Committee.

The 14-foot bronze statue of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa on a horse stands in Veinte de Agosto Park. The statue was a gift to the state of Arizona from the Mexican government and a Mexico press group.

The removal request was submitted by Washington, D.C. based Judicial Watch as the group received complaints from multiple residents. City records do not indicate that a public hearing was held to hear complaints prior to the statue having been unveiled in 1981.

Mark Spencer, the Phoenix-based coordinator of Judicial Watch’s Southwest Projects, said the statue “needs to go” because “Pancho Villa did great harm to people.”

After the vote concluded, Spender said he would consult with his legal team to ensure that the panel adhered to city policies.

In charge of managing the city’s public art collection, the committee said the request did not meet any of the 10 criteria used to consider removing public art, such as damage or a request from the artist.

During the meeting, a dozen residents gave statements defending the statue, pointing to its aesthetic value and role in celebrating local Mexican-American culture.

“We don’t want to forget that history, that history that is grounded in Mexican-ness,” said Lydia Otero, a professor of Mexican-American studies at the University of Arizona. “Each person that walks up to the statue has to ask questions about why this statue is here, right downtown. And they have to come up with their own answers. You know why? Because we are Tucson and it is complicated.”

Reposted from All About Arizona News.