The failure of Secretary of State Michele Reagan to get ballot brochures on time to the homes of 200,000 voters ahead of last year’s election broke state law, according to a new report released Wednesday. Attorney Tom Morrissey, asked to investigate by Attorney General Mark Brnovich, said his year-long inquiry found Reagan’s staff failed to follow various procedures designed to ensure that Arizonans knew what they were voting on in the May 2016 special election. Potentially more significant, Morrissey said Reagan was aware of the problem more than two weeks before she notified the public that many of them would not be getting the brochures on time describing the details of Proposition 123 to put more money into public education and Proposition 124 to make changes to public pension plans.
He said if people knew that they were not getting the pamphlets in the mail before early voting started, as required by law, they could have made efforts to seek out the information for themselves. But by the time Reagan made the failure public — something she did only after attorney Tom Ryan complained to Brnovich — some people had already voted and put their ballots into the mail. That, he said, was unacceptable.
But Morrissey said he found no evidence of any criminal violations by Reagan, state Elections Director Eric Spencer or the staff.
The attorney said only “knowing” violations of state election laws subject violators to potential jail time and fines. And Morrissey said staffers were trying to comply with the law, even though they did not succeed.