We’re Suing Adrian Fontes For His Illegal Elections Procedures Manual

We’re Suing Adrian Fontes For His Illegal Elections Procedures Manual

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

If Adrian Fontes likes spending time in court, he’s going to have a fun time in 2024. In case you’ve lost count, Arizona’s Secretary of State has been sued three times over his Elections Procedures Manual (EPM) in just the last two weeks. That’s what happens when you produce one of the most radical EPMs in Arizona’s history.

At the end of January, Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma filed a lawsuit against Fontes over a variety of provisions in his EPM that violate or conflict with current election laws in our state. But the party was just getting started.

Last week, the Arizona Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, and the Yavapai County GOP also sued Fontes for his blatant attempt to rewrite election law through his EPM. And on the same day, we filed our own lawsuit against Fontes over the promulgation of certain unlawful rules set forth in his EPM.

The reality is that, in his role as Secretary of State, Adrian Fontes is supposed to provide an EPM that gives impartial direction to county recorders to ensure uniform and correct implementation of election law. Instead, he prescribed certain rules without the power to do so and moved forward with an EPM that contains several “rules” that are unconstitutional.


Bill Bars Arizona’s Federal-Only Voters From Voting For President, Receiving Early Ballots By Mail

Bill Bars Arizona’s Federal-Only Voters From Voting For President, Receiving Early Ballots By Mail

By Corinne Murdock |

A new bill proposes that Arizonans registering to vote must provide proof of citizenship in order to vote in presidential elections and receive early ballots by mail. Federal-only voters aren’t required to provide proof of their citizenship to vote for the president, though they must for state, county, and local elections.

The bill makes an exception for military and overseas voters within the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). 

In the 2020 election, Arizona had over 11,600 federal-only ballots cast: nearly 1,150 more votes than President Joe Biden’s margin that won the state.

The bill also laid out a method for verifying citizenship with the submission of a federal form. Within ten days after receiving the form, election officials must utilize their available resources to verify citizenship as well as search the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) databases, Social Security Administration (SSA) databases, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program, National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) Electronic Verification of Vital Events (EVVE) system, and any other state, city, town, county, or federal databases relating to voter registration. Throughout the entire process, elections officials must record their efforts to verify citizenship.

If election officials discover definitive proof that the applicant isn’t a citizen, then they must reject the application and notify the county attorney and attorney general for further investigation. The bill would also require election officials to notify applicants if they are unable to locate confirmation of citizenship, providing applicants 30 days to respond with proof of citizenship. Election officials may not reject an application if the applicant doesn’t provide proof of citizenship within that time frame — at that point, the applicant would only be eligible to vote in federal elections.

Election officials that don’t attempt to verify citizenship when no proof of citizenship is provided would be guilty of a class six felony. 

Those who introduced the bill were State Representatives Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake), Neal Carter (R-San Tan Valley), Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale), John Fillmore (R-Apache Junction), Steve Kaiser (R-Phoenix), Teresa Martinez (R-Oro Valley), Quang Nguyen (R-Prescott), Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa), Ben Toma (R-Peoria), Justin Wilmeth (R-Phoenix). 

The bill also proposes other requirements to strengthen voter registration, such as providing proof of residential address and a checkmark specifically next to a detailed question regarding citizenship. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.