Adrian Fontes is pressing the case for an extra $4.2 million to boost staffing and beef up programs, mainly in the name of election security. || Deposit Photo
Adrian Fontes is looking for money. Nothing less than the safety and security of the 2024 elections is at stake, as he sees it.
By Mary Jo Pitzl || The Arizona Republic
Since taking office in January as Arizona’s 21st secretary of state, Fontes, a Democrat, has told anyone who would listen that his office is underfunded.
The effort has morphed into a campaign, complete with appeals to lawmakers and supportive letters from business and community leaders.
“It’s as if secretary after secretary after secretary, going back several administrations, has been starved of resources,” he said in a recent interview recapping his first 100 days in office.
If he’s in a hurry, it’s because the 2024 elections already are upon us, Fontes said. And with a recent exodus of elections officials from many of Arizona’s counties, the need to get the counties ready for 2024 is urgent.
“We’ve got a whole presidential preference election coming up in less than 10 months,” he said. “We gotta get folks recruited, into office and trained. And we’ve got to get them certified.”
Fontes seeks an extra $4.2 million for office
Fontes took over an office with a $24 million budget.
Gov. Katie Hobbs, Fontes’ predecessor, is recommending $35.5 million for the year that begins July 1.
But Fontes is pressing the case for an extra $4.2 million to boost staffing and beef up programs, mainly in the name of election security.