Gov. Hobbs announces members of Bipartisan Election Task Force

Mar 9, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 6:10 am
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs delivers her State of the State address in front of House Speaker Ben Toma...
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs delivers her State of the State address in front of House Speaker Ben Toma, left, and Senate President Warren Petersen on Jan. 9, 2023, in Phoenix. (Twitter Photo/@GovernorHobbs)
(Twitter Photo/@GovernorHobbs)

PHOENIX — After a contentious 2022 midterm election, a group of bipartisan experts will look to improve the state’s election law at Gov. Katie Hobbs’ request.

On Jan. 6, Hobbs issued an executive order creating the Governor’s Bipartisan Elections Task Force. The task force aims to provide recommendations to enhance the accessibility and security of Arizona’s elections.

“Arizona’s voters deserve an election system that is free, fair, and secure,” Hobbs said.

“I look forward to the task force’s recommendations and will continue working toward meaningful election reform that will improve the democratic process for voters and election administrators in Arizona.”

On Wednesday, Hobbs announced whom she appointed to the task force. The members consist of current and former election officials from across the state, including Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, former Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, Maricopa County Elections Director Scott Jarrett and state Sen. Ken Bennett, a former secretary of state.

Alex Gulotta, the Arizona director of All Voting is Local, a voting rights advocacy group, is one of the appointees. He told KTAR News 92.3 FM that he believes the recommended improvements will be modest but impactful.

“The things that we are likely to be successful on are probably modest, but I think if we look at modest ways, we might be able to make improvements that people on both sides of the aisle can agree on,” Gulotta said.

“If people approach it in good faith, there might be real possibilities where we can make some recommendations, and then the legislature might be able to take those up and consider them next session.”

Renaldo Fowler, a senior advocate with the Arizona Center for Disability Law, is also part of the task force. He said he plans to utilize his experience working across the aisle daily.

“There are so many things I think that I can bring to this committee by reaching out to the disability community and bringing their voice to this table,” Fowler said.

The task force will study and make recommendations to strengthen Arizona’s election laws, policies and procedures. The executive order requires the task force to submit a final report of its recommendations and improvements to Hobbs on Nov. 1.

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Gov. Hobbs announces members of Bipartisan Election Task Force