As the close of voter registration approaches in Arizona for the November 6 midterms, it is more than likely that thousands—if not tens of thousands—of registered voters who recently moved inside the state will be walking into a trap on Election Day. At best, they will face an annoying and inconvenient runaround to find a polling place to cast a ballot that will count. But just as likely many voters who moved to another county will find that their voting status has been suspended for the 2018 election. The reasons for this likely quagmire are numerous. Some of the blame falls on Arizona residents who moved and didn’t revise their voter registration information. But a larger share of the blame falls on the state, especially two agencies involved in elections, for a series of uneven, bureaucratically opaque, and even legally dubious moves that don’t come down on the side of ensuring that all already-registered voters can participate.Full Article: How Arizona Officials May Obstruct Thousands Of Voters.
Articles about voting issues in Arizona.
When technicians descended upon Maricopa County on Aug. 27 to set up equipment for the August primary election, they found a plethora of issues. Locked polling places. Broken check-in machines. Printers with no toner. Out-of-date software. No wireless internet. And the list went on from there, according to Tempe-based information technology contractor Insight. The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office hired Insight to assist with technology set-up the day before the primary and provide technical support on election day.Full Article: Arizona election day issues detailed in contractor report, emails.
Arizona: Maricopa County Audit: election mishaps due to faulty equipment, no backup plan | Arizona Capitol Times
Malfunctioning voting equipment and the lack of a back-up plan led to 62 polling locations opening late for the Aug. 28 primary election, the Maricopa County auditors concluded. The Maricopa County Internal Audit Department conducted a review of the election-day mishaps and found they were tied to the county’s electronic voter check-in and ballot printing system, which was first used in the November 2017 municipal elections and the special election for Congressional District 8 in February. The review found that the county’s electronic voter check-in system, SiteBooks, which was used at all 463 polling locations and 40 vote centers, didn’t work at the polling locations that opened late. The Recorder’s Office denied many of the auditor’s findings, which were made public Sept. 21.Full Article: Audit: election mishaps due to faulty equipment, no backup plan – Arizona Capitol Times.
Arizona: Judge won’t order immediate address updates of Arizona’s voter registration list | Arizona Daily Star
A federal judge has refused to order Secretary of State Michele Reagan to immediately update voter registration addresses of 384,000 Arizonans who moved since the last election. But the ruling leaves the door open to further court action to ensure that Reagan — or whoever succeeds her — finally brings the state into compliance with federal voting laws. Judge James Teilborg acknowledged Wednesday the system operated by the Motor Vehicle Division for address changes for driver’s licenses requires people to affirmatively “opt-in” to also having their voter information updated. And the judge did not dispute the National Voter Registration Act requires these forms to make registration changes automatic unless people opt out.Full Article: Judge won't order immediate address updates of Arizona's voter registration list | Local news | tucson.com.
Calling the lack of evidence of fraud irrelevant, a divided federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld Arizona’s ban on “ballot harvesting.” In a 2-1 ruling, the judges acknowledged arguments by the state and national Democratic parties that the Republican-controlled Legislature adopted the HB 2023, the 2016 law, without any proof that anyone who was collecting ballots had, in fact, tampered with them. And the majority noted there are other state laws which have, for years, made it illegal to tamper with ballots. But Judge Sandra Ikuta, writing for the majority, said none of that is required for lawmakers to do what they did. “A state need not show specific local evidence of fraud in order to justify preventive measures,” she wrote for herself and Judge Carlos Bea. She said courts are entitled to uphold such laws if they serve the state’s interest in maintaining public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process, “even in the absence of any evidence that the public’s confidence has been undermined.”Full Article: Judge upholds state's ban on 'ballot harvesting' | Elections 2018 | paysonroundup.com.
Arizona: Adrian Fontes won’t release report, focused on ‘successful election in November’ | Arizona Republic
The election day issues that left thousands of voters unable to cast ballots when polls opened on Aug. 28 were caused by a contractor error and faulty communication, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said again Wednesday. Fontes maintains that the contractor his office hired to install the new voter check-in machines failed to provide the needed man power to make sure all polling places were ready to accept voters. The company disagrees. Fontes in a news conference hinted that a legal battle with the contractor — Tempe-based Insight Enterprises — could be on the horizon. “I’m not going to get into a he-said-she-said fight with the contractor. That may end up in litigation later,” Fontes told reporters at the media event.Full Article: Adrian Fontes focused on 'successful election in November'.
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said he was angry with himself over the issues surrounding last week’s primary election in the first occasion that he’s publicly answered questions from top officials about what went wrong. Fontes spoke before the county board of supervisors on Wednesday. The board approved $200,000 in funding for an independent audit of the recorder’s office and its handling of the Aug. 28 elections, when 62 polling locations failed to open on time. Dozens of people reported showing up to cast a ballot and getting turned away. Fontes made no mention of the troubles during a Facebook Live video he recorded with a voter shortly before polling places opened at 6 a.m., nor did he bring up the issue to any of the supervisors.Full Article: County Approves Funding for Audit on Arizona Election Issues | Arizona News | US News.
A week after election-day voting problems impacted 95 precincts and thousands of people, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes broke his silence in an unannounced Facebook live video. “We had some problems,” he said. “We didn’t deliver for all of our voters.” In the video, Fontes apologized for the issues that resulted in polling locations that were not ready for voters at 6 a.m. when voting was set to begin. On election day, Fontes blamed the issue on an IT contractor who he said did not provide the agreed-upon resources to set up the voter check-in machines. The Tempe-based contractor disputed Fontes’ claim and pointed the finger back on an unprepared Recorder’s Office.Full Article: Fontes says he will answer questions about election day this week.
For all the worries about Russian hackers and other cyber-vandals, voting problems this week in Arizona served as a reminder that one of the biggest threats to fair elections is plain old human error. That appeared to be the case during Tuesday’s primary, when dozens of polling places in the state’s most populous county opened late because the voter verification machinery had not been set up. The Maricopa County recorder, the official in charge of running elections in and around Phoenix, said the contractor hired to connect the tablet-like devices didn’t send enough workers to complete the job on time. The contractor insisted it dispatched more people than the county requested.Full Article: Hackers? No, human error plagues Arizona primary voting.
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes rode into office in 2016 in the wake of a “presidential preference” election that went terribly wrong, with people standing in line for too long at too few polling places. So when 62 of the County’s 503 polling places failed to open on time Tuesday morning, it begged comparison. Fontes, a Democrat, claims it is not the same at all. The company hired to set up the voting equipment, he said, did not send the number of technicians the county had contracted for, and so he had to “up-train” county employees to plug in wires and get the equipment ready for election day. The company said it did its job, and the problems were on the county end.Full Article: Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes defends his office.
After a frustrating day at the polls Tuesday, voters were left asking what exactly went wrong and who was to blame. Voters were delayed and detoured for hours when dozens of polling places failed to open on time during Maricopa County’s primary election, and technical issues with electronic voting machines abounded across the county. A document The Arizona Republic obtained from the county Wednesday reveals some of the problems could have stemmed partly from a misunderstanding between the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office and the contractor it hired to set up electronic voting systems at the polls.Full Article: Maricopa County election issues may have stemmed from misunderstanding.
When voting began at 6 a.m. Tuesday, 62 Maricopa County polling places were not ready for voters. The check-in equipment that allows poll workers to verify voters’ identity had not been set up, leaving some voters unable to secure ballots for hours. The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office blamed its IT contractor for the issues. The Tempe-based contractor pointed the finger back on an unprepared recorder’s office. Regardless of fault, thousands of Maricopa County voters found themselves bouncing between voting locations, casting provisional ballots or, in some cases, giving up on voting altogether. “This is not a hiccup,” Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes conceded. “This is a serious concern where voters across Maricopa County couldn’t get voting.”Full Article: Arizona voting problems: Who is to blame?.
Arizona officials knew on Monday about issues plaguing voting machines at certain polling locations, a day before the state’s primary elections, according to The Associated Press. Polling sites across the state have faced technical difficulties throughout the day, as voters pick nominees for U.S. House and Senate seats, as well as state and local offices. Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said at a press conference Tuesday morning that his office had been alerted to issues with voting equipment when troubleshooters were testing polling sites on Monday, The Arizona Republic reported.Full Article: Ariz. officials knew of issues with voting machines a day before Tuesday's primary | TheHill.
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and a Tempe-based technology company are trading blame for problems that caused dozens of polling places to fail to open on time Tuesday. The county hired Insight Enterprises, a global information technology contractor, to set up voter check-in equipment on Monday and provide technical support on Tuesday, the Recorder’s Office and an Insight representative agreed. But the explanations diverge from there. The check-in equipment lets poll workers verify the identity of a voter and print a custom ballot. The equipment uses an internet connection to access the voter registration database and connect to the printer. If voters cannot check in or print a ballot, they cannot vote. The Recorder’s Office said the contract called for 103 Insight employees to set up polling sites Monday, but only 73 technicians showed up, according to an email the office sent to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and county executives. Insight begs to differ.Full Article: Election officials, Insight Enterprises swap blame for voting issues.
Sen. John McCain held his seat in the Senate for nearly 32 years. After McCain’s death Saturday, it will fall to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to name his successor. State law gives Ducey, a Republican, the power to fill the Senate vacancy for the next two years, until a special election is held in 2020 to select a person to complete the final two years of McCain’s term. The seat will then be up again for a full six-year term in the 2022 election. Arizona law also stipulates that the appointee must be from McCain’s party. Ducey has avoided any discussion in recent months about which Republican he might appoint to fill McCain’s seat, citing respect for the senator and his family. “Out of respect for the life and legacy of Senator John McCain and his family, Governor Ducey will not be making any announcements about an appointment until after the Senator is laid to rest,” said Daniel Ruiz, a spokesman for Ducey.Full Article: What happens next to John McCain's Senate seat - POLITICO.
A judge has upheld a 2016 Arizona law that bans groups from collecting early mail-in ballots from voters and delivering them, marking the second time this year that a legal challenge to the statute has failed. U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes on Friday dismissed the latest challenge to the statute that bans anyone but caregivers or family members from delivering a completed early ballot to a polling place. The lawsuit was filed by Democratic activist Rivko Knox, who said the law caused her to stop delivering ballots for voters who request assistance. Rayes rejected arguments from Knox’s attorneys that the law was unconstitutional because it’s trumped by federal statutes and violated her free-speech rights.Full Article: Judge upholds law barring collection of mail-in ballots | The Wichita Eagle.
Voting rights organizations are suing Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan over concerns that her office isn’t updating voters’ addresses. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona on Monday announced the lawsuit from multiple voter rights organizations including the League of Women Voters of Arizona. They’re concerned that Reagan’s office doesn’t update voter registration information when someone changes their address on their driver’s license. Reagan’s office last week rejected a request from the ACLU to change more than 500,000 voter registration addresses to what is listed on driver’s licenses. She cited concerns about a lack of voters’ consent. Instead, she says her office has coordinated with the Arizona Department of Transportation to make those changes next year.Full Article: Arizona isn't updating voter addresses, lawsuit claims.
Voting rights organizations are suing Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan over concerns that her office isn’t updating voters’ addresses. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona on Monday announced the lawsuit from multiple voter rights organizations including the League of Women Voters of Arizona. They’re concerned that Reagan’s office doesn’t update voter registration information when someone changes their address on their driver’s license. Reagan’s office last week rejected a request from the ACLU to change more than 500,000 voter registration addresses to what is listed on driver’s licenses. She cited concerns about a lack of voters’ consent. Instead, she says her office has coordinated with the Arizona Department of Transportation to make those changes next year.Full Article: ACLU lawyers file suit over Arizona voter address updates - Fairfield Citizen.
Arizona: Judge to decide legality of Arizona law prohibiting collection of mail-in ballots | Arizona Daily Star
Attorneys for a Democratic activist told a federal judge Friday that there is a legal and constitutional right for her and others to deliver someone else’s ballot to polling places. And Spencer Scharff asked Judge Douglas Rayes to immediately quash the law and allow what’s known as “ballot harvesting” to once again be legal in time for the Aug. 28 primary. Scharff argued that federal law specifically allows individuals to deliver “mail” — and essentially compete with the U.S. Postal Service — as long as they don’t charge for the service. In these cases, he told Rayes, people like his client, Rivko Knox, who have been collecting early ballots for years, are doing that simply as a service.Full Article: Judge to decide legality of Arizona law prohibiting collection of mail-in ballots | News | tucson.com.
Exactly seven months before the 2016 presidential election, Russian government hackers made it onto a Democratic committee’s network. One of their carefully crafted fraudulent emails had hit pay dirt, enticing an employee to click a link and enter her password. That breach of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was the first significant step in gaining access to the Democratic National Committee network. To steal politically sensitive information, prosecutors say, the hackers exploited some of the United States’ own computer infrastructure against it, using servers they leased in Arizona and Illinois. The details were included in an indictment released Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller, who accused the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, of taking part in a wide-ranging conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. The companies operating the servers were not identified in the court papers.Full Article: Prosecutors say Russian hackers leased servers in Arizona, Illinois.