On Friday, the Attorney General’s Office filed a brief in its lawsuit to ensure that Arizona has a valid and compliant Elections Procedures Manual (EPM) for the upcoming 2022 election cycle. The lawsuit was filed after the Secretary of State (SOS) failed to provide a lawful draft EPM as required by Arizona Law.
No Arizona statute allows the Attorney General’s Office to approve an EPM provision exceeding the scope of its statutory authority. The Attorney General’s Office alleges that the EPM draft contains numerous sections that go beyond the scope of what Secretary Hobbs is lawfully allowed to include.
The filing calls for concrete changes to the EPM to ensure that it complies with Arizona law. These include:
Requiring county recorders to implement the active early voting list maintenance beginning in January 2023, as provided in statute;
Preserving statutory requirements regarding the secrecy of early ballot envelopes;
Preserving statutory requirements regarding “overvotes” (i.e. where the voter votes for more than one candidate);
Prohibiting county recorders from extending deadlines without court approval, as required by statute;
Prohibiting “unstaffed” drop boxes, consistent with statute;
Preserving the ability of parties to challenge early ballots, consistent with statute;
Requiring signature verification for non-mailed early ballots;
Preventing the EPM from mandating a multi-agency and extra-statutory jail voting program;
Prohibiting the SOS from eliminating the 48-hour notice to parties before logic and accuracy testing of voting machines due to “rescheduling”;
Eliminating the SOS’s diversity and equity mandate for poll workers, which is not based on Arizona statute;
Preserving the right of observers to observe non-partisan elections;
Preserving the requirement that voters vote in their precinct, as required by state law and upheld in Brnovich v. DNC; and
Preventing the SOS from imposing through the EPM her own criminal prohibition on private citizens for “potentially intimidating conduct.”