Arizona Secretary Of State Supports Collecting Initiative Signatures Electronically

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 10:05am
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Katie Hobbs

As initiative drives are held up by stay-at-home rules, Arizona's chief elections officer announced she will not oppose an effort to collect the remaining signatures needed online.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs noted on Monday the state already has a system allowing political candidates to circulate nominating petitions online.

"I think that in light of the circumstances that we're in right now, it's a reasonable request," she said. "We are certainly not opposing it and would hope for a quick resolution."

Hobbs's view is significant, because she is the named defendant in two legal complaints filed last week at the Arizona Supreme Court and another at the federal level. They represent six different initiative campaigns challenging the state law barring them from submitting electronic petition signatures.

Hobbs, a Democrat, said her office can make the necessary changes.  But her willingness to do so puts her in conflict with Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who is asking the courts to leave the law intact.