Ducey, Hobbs at odds over election procedures for nursing homes residents

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs at a press conference on COVID-19 earlier this year with Gov. Doug Ducey./ Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services  

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Twitter

The top elected state officials of the two major parties are squabbling over election procedures, with the ability of some nursing homes and other centers to vote hanging in the balance.

Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has said counties can use a procedure that allows members of already legal “special election boards” to accept ballots that are effectively filled out via telephone or video conference. This would occur when board members are not allowed to interact directly with residents because of concern for COVID-19.

But Gov. Doug Ducey, in a letter to Hobbs, says there’s no legal basis for the “experiment” she has proposed.

“These policy changes should be suspended immediately so that Arizonans can continue to have confidence and faith in the integrity of our election system,” he wrote.

Hobbs responded by telling the Republican governor that the procedures were developed “in close collaboration with your staff and the Arizona Department of Health Services.”

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