By Ben Giles | Arizona Capitol Times
The Secretary of State’s Office won’t refer allegations of signature forgery and fraud that plagued the past election season to state prosecutors despite proclaiming there was ample evidence to seek a criminal investigation.
State Elections Director Eric Spencer would not comment on why officials opted against supplying evidence tied to signatures gathered for four candidates to the Attorney General’s Office.
The decision is an about face from Spencer’s stance in July, when he told Arizona Capitol Timesthere was more than enough evidence for state attorneys to pursue a criminal investigation.
Spencer and his staff had conducted a cursory review of signatures gathered by all 310 candidates for state, legislative and federal office this year. Candidates must file a certain number of signatures on nominating petitions in order to get their name on the ballot.
That review’s focus narrowed to signatures submitted by gubernatorial candidate Ken Bennett, congressional candidate Sandra Dowling, incumbent Rep. Ray Martinez, D-Phoenix, and legislative candidate Mark Syms.