Ducey put Reagan’s elections manual on hold after county recorders complained

Michele Reagan speaking at a Sparking Democracy forum hosted by the Undergraduate Student Government at Arizona State University in Tempe on Oct. 24, 2014. /Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore

 

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Gov. Doug Ducey withheld his approval from the elections procedures manual that Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s Office drafted for the 2018 election after county recorders identified a number of flaws and asked him not to allow it to go into effect.

Reagan in late March submitted the proposed 550-page manual to Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who are required by law to sign off on the manual before it goes into effect. The manual provides guidance on how county elections officials are to conduct elections and execute election-related statutes. Once approved, the manual carries the force of law.

After Reagan asked Ducey to at least partially put his review of the manual on hold while she awaited the outcome of litigation against the Secretary of State’s Office, the governor decided to halt the process entirely, and refused to restart it or to approve the manual. Brnovich has not approved the manual either.

Elections officials are still using the 2014 manual created by then-Secretary of State Ken Bennett because Reagan decided to not issue a new manual for the 2016 election. Elections laws change from year to year, and county elections officials were highly critical of the decision at the time.

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