Coronavirus: Arizona Democrats Push for All-Mail Voting in 2020 Election

An Arizona voter delivers her mail-in ballot at a polling station for the Arizona presidential preference election Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
AP Photo/Matt York

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) on Wednesday asked state lawmakers to authorize all-mail elections in the months of August and November, citing health concerns stemming from the United States’ ongoing fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

Hobbs wrote in a letter to both of Arizona’s legislative chambers one day after the state’s presidential primary election that “it would be unreasonable to ask these officials to once again overcome these circumstances, should they still exist or are exacerbated” in future elections due to the deadly illness. Hobbs said she has requested county boards of supervisors to be granted authority to conduct all-mail voting, pointing to state law sanctioning “jurisdictional elections … to be conducted in this manner.” She pointed to legislation introduced by state Democrats that would allow for all-mail voting in the pair of upcoming elections.

“We wholeheartedly agree, @SecretaryHobbs, and we already have a bill by @seanbowie that would do just that,” the Arizona Senate Democratic Caucus’ official account tweeted in response to Hobbs’ proposal, adding that the bill should be fast-tracked.

Speaking Tuesday to The Mike Broomhead Show, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes (D) said he stands ready to oversee all-mail elections.

“Arizona and Maricopa County are prepared to go to all ballot by mail, which given the health circumstances, is simply [for] the best bet,” Fontes said. “We already know how to do this.”

“Arizona should be voting in the mail already,” he added.

Failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made a similar plea Wednesday, tweeting: “Congress needs to act to make voting by mail the norm going forward…”

As Breitbart News has pointed out:

Several states already allow voting by mail, though Republicans have warned that California’s system is vulnerable to fraud. There, Democrats legalized a system called “ballot harvesting,” which allows unverified third parties to deliver each other’s ballots — effectively allowing party organizers to bring thousands of ballots to be counted.

Republicans blamed some of their 2018 losses in California on “ballot harvesting.” And Republican efforts to copy Democrats’ tactics have failed because Republicans are generally more reluctant to give their ballots to others.

Clinton is familiar with the value of voting by mail: she was thought to be running neck-and-neck with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in California in the 2016 presidential primary, but then she won by several points — largely because she had stronger turnout in mail-in ballots. Mail-in ballots also helped her run up popular vote margins in 2016.

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