‘Objections that no one can decipher’: Judge seeks clarity on Brnovich’s opposition to elections manual

By Mary Jo Pitzl | Arizona Republic

A Yavapai County judge Friday called Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s objections to an elections manual “opaque,” saying he didn’t have enough information to determine whether the state is operating under an unlawful guide for running elections.

Judge John Napper gave Brnovich a week to provide specific reasons for his objections. He also said he will order that Gov. Doug Ducey be made a party to the case that centers on whether Secretary of State Katie Hobbs issued an unlawful Elections Procedures Manual.

Brnovich joined with the Yavapai County Republican Party to sue Hobbs for failing to provide a 2021 elections manual. However, efforts to produce that manual foundered late last year when Brnovich refused to approve it unless Hobbs deleted major portions of the guide.

Hobbs accommodated some of those demands, but when the two could not agree on the other objections, the existing manual — which was created in 2019 with Brnovich’s approval — remained in effect for this year’s elections.

Napper said there were “scant” details to understand why Brnovich had issues with the draft manual Hobbs prepared last fall after consulting with the 15 county recorders.

”We are left with objections that no one can decipher,” he said during a nearly two-hour hearing.

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