UPDATE: ‘Unprecedented’: Maricopa County will mail ballots for Tuesday’s election amid coronavirus concerns

By Jessica Boehm | Arizona Republic

[UPDATE] A judge tonight blocked the mailing of ballots.

Maricopa County will mail ballots to registered Democrats who have not yet cast ballots in Tuesday’s Democratic Presidential Preference Election, Recorder Adrian Fontes announced Friday. 

But a spokesman for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who splits control over elections with the recorder, hinted Friday that the board could try to prevent the mass mailing. 

If Fontes’ plan goes through, this will apply to voters who are not on the early voter mail list and did not receive a mail-in ballot several weeks ago.

And Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told Fontes that he does not have the authority to mail a ballot to all voters who have not requested one.

“As you know, I fully agree with you that authority for counties to conduct all-mail elections is good policy, and certainly an appropriate contingency plan in the event of a public health emergency like this. Unfortunately, it is not currently authorized by the law,” she wrote in an email to Fontes provided to The Republic.

Hobbs, a Democrat, said she is working with others on legislation that would allow election officials to authorize all-mail elections in emergencies and move certain election-related deadlines.

But she warned Fontes that his current plan will “only cause massive voter confusion and, more critically, jeopardize the legitimacy of this election.”

If Fontes’ plan goes through, this will apply to voters who are not on the early voter mail list and did not receive a mail-in ballot several weeks ago.

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