Secretary of state wants all-mail voting across Arizona for 2020 as coronavirus spreads

Individuals are tested for COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus at a mobile clinic set up in the parking lot at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix on the morning of March 18, 2020. Only Mayo Clinic patients with a doctor’s order could use the mobile clinic. 

By Andrew Oxford | Arizona Republic 

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs asked legislators to let counties run upcoming elections entirely by mail as officials grapple with the potential impact of the coronavirus.

Most Maricopa County voters already have chosen to get ballots by mail and school districts and cities can hold elections exclusively by mail.

But the prospect of an emergency like a public health crisis disrupting in-person balloting on Election Day during the primary in August or the general election in November has renewed calls for all-mail voting.

“We need to prepare now for any eventuality,” Hobbs wrote in a letter to legislative leaders on Wednesday as lawmakers mull quickly passing a budget and breaking in the face of an ongoing pandemic.

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