On May 10, Tom Ryan filed a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General regarding yet another failure by Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan. Ryan advised the AG’s office that Reagan “failed in her duty to timely issue statutorily required Publicity Pamphlets dealing with Propositions 123 and 124.”
Ryan argues that the remedy for Reagan’s failure should be to either delay the Special Election and combined it with either the Primary Election scheduled for August 30, 2016, or the General Election scheduled for November 8, 2016.
Ryan, is an attorney who describes himself as “a volunteer who acts as a political watchdog when members of government fail in their duties to protect the citizens of this State.”
Early voting on these two propositions began on April 20, 2016, and the date for the Special Election is set for May 17, 2016. The Arizona Secretary of State “had to have the Publicity Pamphlets printed and mailed and received by all households containing registered voters by April 20, 2016,” argues Ryan.
“On Friday, May 6, 2016, the Secretary of the State Office officially admitted that as of last week 200,000 Publicity Pamphlets were mailed out for the first time to Arizona households,” writes Ryan in his complaint. “Since Publicity Pamphlets are mailed to households that may have more than one voter, this means that somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 voters have not received their statutorily mandated Publicity Pamphlets.”
Ryan noted that Reagan’s “substantial failure” is a “breach of her primary duty to “secure the purity of elections and guard against abuses of the elective franchise.”
Ryan writes, “Arizona law is absolutely clear that (1) the Secretary of State’s Office must mail the statutorily required Publicity Pamphlets to the households of all registered voters in the State of Arizona; (2) that this must be accomplished before the start of an election which must occur before the earliest date for receipt of early ballots; (3) that hundreds of thousands of voting households in Arizona were still waiting for their Publicity Pamphlets as recently as last week; (4) that Arizona case and statutory law mandate strict compliance for conducting referendums; and (5) that this failure is substantial and not in strict compliance with Arizona law.”
Ryan concludes, “I recognize the political difficulty such an Election Complaint presents to your office. But either the rule of law matters or it does not. The Legislature has asked for, and the Governor has signed into law, a “strict compliance” requirement for all aspects of the referendum process. There is no exception for how the Secretary of State conducts a referendum. There is no exception for accidents, unintentional mistakes or unforced errors by the Office of the Secretary of State.”
With the Arizona Attorney General’s office in a persistent state of chaos, and the governor’s notorious bullying, many question whether Attorney General Mark Brnovich has political will to enforce the law.