Decades of successful voting by mail are colliding with partisan attempts to smother it, raising Arizona's electoral temperature.
Election Integrity Grade
Katie Hobbs (D)
Elected - In Office Since 2019
Budget Allocation For Elections: $6,589,500
Per Capita Investment In Elections: $0.91
In Arizona, elections are overseen by the Secretary of State, a directly elected state officer who serves a four-year term. The current Secretary of State is Democrat Katie Hobbs; Hobbs defeated Steve Gaynor (R) in a race decided by less than one percentage point in 2018.
Arizona has long been a state where a majority of voters opt to vote by mail; it is a process with strong bipartisan support, even in today's Trump-affected environment. State officials of both parties have attempted to push back on "voter fraud" theories.
Secretary Hobbs has shown an ability to work across party lines, to resolve disputes to the satisfaction of both parties, and to be proactive in her communications designed to affirm faith in the process. The central concern in Arizona is its post-election processes for recounts and challenges, which could very well come into play.
Statements on Voter Fraud
Support for Vote By Mail
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has been very proactive in pushing back on Donald Trump's baseless assertions about voter fraud. She's asked the state Attorney General to launch an investigation into Trump's efforts to undermine the AZ vote. (A)
The Secretary of State's office has published health recommendations to reduce the risks of COVID-19 for voters and local officials. The state has also invested $9 million in CARES Act funds to prepare locations and provide PPE. (A)
Arizona voters have cast ballots by mail for nearly three decades, and the practice has bipartisan support at the state level. Despite that positive history, the Trump campaign and AG Bill Barr continue to attack the process and file lawsuits. (A-)
Arizona uses paper ballots and voting machines that provide paper records, but post-election audits are extremely problematic - as of Sept 2020, it was unclear if all of Arizona's counties could meet existing requirements for auditing results. (D)
Secretary Hobbs and Governor Doug Ducey have a history of working together successfully, but pressure from state and federal Republicans may make that difficult in the wake of a contested election. Arizona is the home of some extreme partisans. (B-)
KEY PUBLIC STATEMENTS
In Arizona, we’re going to do it right. It will be free and fair. It will be difficult if not impossible to cheat and it will be easy to vote,
Secretary of State
In a state where the vast majority of voters choose to do so by mail, attempts to sabotage the USPS just months before an election are most certainly attempts to interfere with ‘the free exercise of the right of suffrage.'
Pima County Recorder
We check every single signature. There’s footage on my website of this whole process so people can rest assured that their ballot is being taken care of