Sunday, June 5, 2016

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan Accused of Wrong Doing by Republicans and Democrats

Image result for michele reagan arizona
The editors of the Arizona Republic editorialized about the Secretary of State, Michele Reagan: Our View: Reagan needs some quality control: Reagan has delivered more mistakes that heighten concerns about who – if anybody – is in charge of quality control at her office.
Republic columnist Laurie Roberts to pointed out the obvious. Another day, another Michele Reagan screw-up:
Problems were perhaps inevitable in an office where rank-and-file career employees – people who know how to run an election – were basically run off their jobs in order to make room for political pals. But they also point to a larger problem. Ms Reagan seems to spend more time playing politics than on her role as the state’s top elections chief – a position that would seem to call for fewer partisan maneuvers, not more. Has there been a secretary of state who has played more politics than Reagan? It seems there are visions of the ninth floor (read: governor’s office) dancing in her head.
Why else would she have promptly switched sides on the “dark money” issue once she was elected and said that contrary to her previous views, no dark money disclosure is possible?
Why else would she have had her elections director, Eric Spencer, rewrite Arizona’s campaign-finance laws in a wholesale political move to reduce disclosure, increase dark money spending, decriminalize certain kinds of political corruption and legalize a litany of bad ideas that’ll make it easier for our leaders to get down to the business of funny business?
Attorney General Mark Brnovich has appointed a former federal prosecutor to lead the investigation into the Arizona secretary of state’s failure to mail publicity pamphlets in advance of last month’s special election. The Democratic Party and voting rights advocacy groups sued Arizona over the fiasco of the Presidential Preference Election held in March.
Democrats sue Arizona over voter access. The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating Maricopa County in the PPE election fiasco. This past week, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit seeking court supervision of Arizona elections because our hapless Secretary of State is too partisan and too incompetent to be trusted with the fair, impartial and competent administration of elections.  
The Arizona Republic reported, Long lines at the polls spark another lawsuit:
Elections officials in Maricopa County and with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office should be barred from conducting future elections without judicial oversight, a lawsuit filed Thursday claims.
The suit, from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, cites the long lines at Maricopa County polls during the March 22 presidential-preference election and alleges the hours-long waits disenfranchised voters.
The suit, filed on behalf of two voters who were stuck in those lines or were discouraged by them, seeks judicial oversight for all elections up to and including the 2020 presidential-preference election. It also asks the Maricopa County Superior Court to determine that the voters’ civil rights were violated.
“We need to ensure that all eligible voters are allowed to participate in our democracy and do not face unnecessary barriers to the ballot box,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Washington D.C.-based group.
The suit names Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and Secretary of State Michele Reagan.
The claims are state claims brought under the Arizona Constitution and Arizona election law seeking injunctive relief.  While the complaint references the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, the complaint does not allege any claim under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. (I assume that this was a strategic decision to avoid removal to federal district court, and to seek a speedier remedy in state court).

Arizonans have lost confidence in state elections officials to conduct elections in a fair, impartial and competent manner. Maybe the latest lawsuit will lead to court supervision of upcoming elections for the primary and general elections. Source