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Arizona Secretary of State’s office under legal fire once again

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan speaks during a news conference after she certified the official canvass results of the March 22 presidential primary, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix-area lawyer has alleged that Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s choice not to issue a revised elections manual before the November presidential election was in violation of state law.

Tom Ryan sent a letter to Attorney General Mark Brnovich that claimed Reagan would be in violation of state law if she did not issue an elections procedures manual to the governor and attorney general by Friday.

Elections procedures manuals are used by election officials to properly perform their duties.

Ryan told the Associated Press that the revision was needed because certain voting laws had changed, suchb as the one which outlawed having someone else collect and drop off a ballot, and that the manual needs to reflect that.

However, Secretary of State spokesman Matt Roberts told the Associated Press that the law only requires that a manual is in place, not that it must be up to date. The Secretary of State’s office plans to use the 2014 elections manual for this coming election and revise it next year.

Ryan had previously clashed with the Secretary of State’s office for its failure to mail out election information pamphlets ahead of the May 17 special election, calling for Reagan’s impeachment and a postponement of the election.

Although Brnovich agreed with Ryan that the Secretary of State’s office violated the law, he said there was no legal remedy to the situation and that postponing the election would only disenfranchise voters and cause confusion.

The attorney general’s office told the Associated Press that it will respond to the letter after it is reviewed.

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