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.

Stephen Richer Hits Back!

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer was a recent guest on KTAR’s Mike Broomhead Show. For an elected official who really wanted to make the County Recorder’s office boring again, he has utterly failed. Nevertheless, this was a fantastic interview in which Recorder Richer hit back on the conspiracy-driven, unqualified, self-professed auditors who have been destroying election integrity here in Arizona. Here is the interview:

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.”

Two Men Trapped in One Candidate – Who is Mitt Romney?

Two Men Trapped in One Candidate  The “Bob Dole” of 2012…

Tonight the Faux News Network reported that he “did what he had to do” in order to be elected in a Blue State.   Does that mean he’ll do whatever he has to do in order to win the White House?  Isn’t that what we don’t like about Obama?  Seriously why have so many of Arizona’s political class endorsed him in the Primary so early?

Had a Democrat done this many flips and flops the GOP would be all over them like a ill-fitting suit.   What I’m reading and hearing is that the voters want a clear vision and a leader to move us forward, not more McBlandness.

Here’s my forecast:  Gingrich wins New Hampshire by +3% over Romney and Herman Cain takes Iowa.  That leaves Florida and South Carolina and the game changes.

Western Free Press Poll: Who won the MSNBC Politico GOP Presidential Debate