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HomeNewsLocal NewsHobbs issues executive order | allots $2.3 million in COVID-19 relief funds...

Hobbs issues executive order | allots $2.3 million in COVID-19 relief funds for Arizona elections.  

Arizona’s portion of the American Rescue Plan Act, a federal coronavirus assistance package, will provide the funding. In addition to providing temporary staffing for counties for the 2024 election , it will fund an elections fellowship program aimed at recruiting and training election workers. The $2.3 million will support various election-related projects, pay for security and the hiring of poll workers, and assist in maintaining the state’s voter registration database.

“This Task Force is made up of talented, bipartisan experts who have diverse on-the-ground experience with Arizona’s elections,” said Task Force Co-Chair and former Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell. “It was rewarding to see them come together week after week to brainstorm where additional support is needed, collaborate on potential solutions, and develop the proposals in the final report.

The first executive order permits state workers to work at polls during a statewide election while on paid leave, starting with the presidential preference election in March. It instructs the human resources division of the Arizona Department of Administration, the state workforce, to create regulations extending what is officially known as civic duty leave, which allows workers to receive compensation for participating in jury duty or going to vote.

The second executive order allows state buildings to be used as polling places or ballot drop-off sites in any statewide election.

The third executive order expands the number of state agencies that will provide voter registration information to the public, including digital and printed registration forms. The order prevents those agencies and their staff from providing voter registration information “in any manner that is not impartial or neutral.”

“State agencies have opportunities to better utilize their resources to support voter registration,” the order says. 

Hobbs designated $700,000 to maintain the statewide voter registration database around a problem identified by the task force: The system needs a reliable source of funding each year. The task force recommended the state should fund that maintenance at a cost of $1.3 million annually, which will likely be difficult due to the state revenue bank accounts will likely be in the red next year.

Arizona has had a high rate of turnover in county recorder and election official roles in recent years due to complaints from those who believe the Arizona elections are fraudulent.

Also, there are around one million Arizonans who are eligible but are not registered to vote, according to Hobbs. 

JT Morgan for Mountain Daily Star

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