Ducey: People In Long-Term Care Will Have Chance To Vote
This week, Gov. Ducey exchanged a series of increasingly pointed letters with Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, about the changes she's seeking, which she says would ensure voters aren't disenfranchised during the pandemic. The changes would primarily impact those in long-term care.
At a press conference on Thursday, Ducey said he has no intention of denying anyone the right to vote.
"I want everyone in a long-term care facility to vote and we’re going to find a safe way for these election boards, this is already set, to be inside these long-term care facilities so that they can vote," he said. "Nobody is going to be disenfranchised."
Those special election boards Ducey referred to are supposed to work with voters in person. Hobbs had told county recorders that they could conduct virtual special election boards. The guidance from Hobbs is nonbinding, and it's ultimately up to officials in each county to decide whether to implement it.
Dana Kennedy, with AARP of Arizona, and some disability groups worked with the Secretary of State’s Office to make sure people in long-term care facilities could vote. An area of concern are the special election boards. The board is composed of a Democrat and a Republican. Their job is to help a voter fill out the ballot. It’s supposed to be done in person, but with the pandemic, the guidance form Hobbs tells counties to conduct the boards virtually if need be. The governor disagreed with that.
"And it now seems that this has just become politics. And it's really unfortunate because these are the people who have been locked down for over six months, and they absolutely deserve to be able to vote," Kennedy said.
Ducey denied Hobbs’ request for an executive order saying he wouldn't change voting procedures so close to the election.
"We thought Arizona was going to be a role model for the rest of the country to make sure that people in long-term care facilities, you know, had a collaborative effort, and we're going to make sure that the residents were able to exercise their right to vote," said Kennedy.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Ducey said the Secretary of State's Office did not seek authority or request revisions to the election procedures manual with respect to conducting telephonic voter registration or virtual special election boards.