Hobbs won’t contest legal challenge to put initiative signature gathering online

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Monday that implementing the program in Arizona would not take much./ Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

The state’s chief elections officer said she won’t oppose legal efforts to allow initiative drives to gather the remaining signatures they need online.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Monday that implementing the program in Arizona would not take much. She noted the E-Qual system already allows political candidates to “circulate” nominating petitions online.

“I think that in light of the circumstances that we’re in right now, it’s a reasonable request,” she told Capitol Media Services. “We are certainly not opposing it and would hope for a quick resolution.”

Hobbs’ position is significant as she is the named defendant in both legal papers filed last week at the Arizona Supreme Court as well as a separate federal court lawsuit. Both claims, representing six different initiative campaigns, seek an order effectively overriding the laws that make the E-Qual system available only to political candidates, at least for this election cycle.

“I plan to let the court know that my office can implement the necessary changes, should that be the court’s order,” she said.

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