We should be doing everything we can to ensure election integrity moving forward. Too many Americans have lost faith and trust in our election system. And while the results of the last election are done, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn lessons from November 2020 and apply them going forward.

Someone should tell that to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Last month, Hobbs released a draft of a new elections manual. This manual establishes the election procedures that are to be used by the counties in Arizona for accepting and tabulating votes.

If approved, the manual would go into effect next year…when Democrat Katie Hobbs will be running for governor.

Problems with the elections manual

While the Arizona Free Enterprise Club is currently conducting a thorough review of the manual to identify any issues and concerns, one major problem has already arisen. In her manual, Hobbs proposes counting votes for certain offices, like president or statewide offices including governor, even if the voter shows up and votes at the wrong precinct.

But a rule like this opens the door to extensive fraud. And it’s why the United States Supreme Court ruled against this sort of thing just a couple months ago.

Do you remember that? Apparently, Katie Hobbs forgot. Or maybe she just wants to protect her own interests.

In Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, the nation’s highest court ruled 6-3 in favor of Arizona’s ban on ballot harvesting and the state’s requirement that individuals vote in their assigned precinct for their votes to count.

This isn’t that hard to understand. The decision came down on July 1. And yet, just a little over a month later, Hobbs is trying to circumvent the law and the Supreme Court’s decision with her new elections manual.

The path forward

Thankfully, Katie Hobbs does not have sole jurisdiction on this matter. While the deadline for approval of a new manual used to be 30 days before a general election, that changed in 2019 when HB2238 was signed into law.

This requires the Secretary of State to submit the draft elections manual to the Attorney General and Governor by October 1 of every odd numbered year.

But the process doesn’t stop there.

Both the Attorney General and the Governor’s office will get an opportunity to review the manual and recommend changes. And they have until December 31 to approve it in order for the manual to take effect. According to the Attorney General’s Election Integrity Unit, they sent 115 suggested edits to Katie Hobbs in 2019 for the 2020 manual. 100 of those were incorporated, and Mark Brnovich approved the manual on December 19, 2019. Governor Ducey then signed off the next day.

So, there is time to make sure your voice is heard. And once the Club completes our review, we will let you know how you can take action and report your concerns to both the Attorney General and Governor’s office.

Because the people of Arizona have already made their voice heard. And both Republican and Democrat voters want an election system that makes voting accessible and fraud proof.

Instead of trying to sidestep the law, maybe Katie Hobbs should listen to the people.

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