Fontes asks judge to rule vote by video is legal

Gilbert Silva walks through the parking lot of the Valencia Library located at 202 W. Valencia Road to cast his vote during primary election day on Aug. 4, 2020./Josh Galemore/Arizona Daily Star

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes wants a court to bless the practice he is using that allows some people to cast a ballot by video conference.

In a lawsuit filed Friday, Fontes said state law provides for “special election boards” composed of one Republican and one Democrat to assist voters who are confined because of illness or disability. In general, they will go to where someone lives and help that person fill out the ballot.

But Fontes said the COVID-19 outbreak and public health restrictions may keep board members from entering these facilities. So he has developed — and used in the August primary — a system that uses video technology.

“Unfortunately, Gov. Doug Ducey has taken the erroneous position that providing this common-sense assistance to severely disabled voters violates Arizona law and must be suspended immediately,” attorney Mary O’Grady wrote for Fontes. And she noted that the Attorney General’s Office has expressed concerns.

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