Secretary of State Michele Reagan won’t cancel next week’s special election even though her office failed to mail out on time more than 200,000 pamphlets with details of what’s on the ballot. Reagan spokesman Matt Roberts conceded the law about when voters need to get the brochures was broken. And while saying the fault lies with an outside company that made up mailing lists, Roberts acknowledged the foul-up is Reagan’s responsibility. But Roberts rejected the contention by attorney Tom Ryan that her failure is fatal and the election for Propositions 123 and 124 cannot take place as scheduled this coming Tuesday. “There’s nothing in statute that we’re finding that would allow this office to not allow the election itself to move forward,’’ Robert said.
Ryan is not relying on Reagan to act. He separately filed a complaint with Attorney General Mark Brnovich contending that Reagan’s failure to strictly comply with election laws — including the deadline for mailing the pamphlets — voids the entire vote. He wants Brnovich to order the election postponed, putting the two issues either on the Aug. 30 primary ballot or holding it until the Nov. 8 general election.
There was no immediate comment from Brnovich.
The facts are not in dispute. Arizona law requires Reagan to mail a copy of the publicity pamphlet to every household with a registered voter. More to the point it says they have to be mailed out in time to be delivered before voters get their early ballots. That would have required the pamphlets to be in homes by April 20.