Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs takes action to address Bipartisan Elections Task Force concerns

Nov 2, 2023, 2:00 PM

A Maricopa County election worker moves a stack of scanned ballots on Nov. 10, 2022, in Phoenix, Ar...

A Maricopa County election worker moves a stack of scanned ballots on Nov. 10, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Thursday allocated $2.3 million in federal funding and issued three executive orders to address concerns about the state’s elections.

The moves come after the Bipartisan Elections Task Force created by Hobbs held its final meeting last week and issued a final report Wednesday.

The funding, which comes from the American Rescue Plan, is split into three chunks: $1 million for a paid election worker internship program for recent college graduates plus additional staffing and consulting support for counties, $700,000 to maintain the statewide Access Voter Information Database and $600,000 for several 2024 election administration initiatives.

The administrative initiatives include election security, ballot reconciliation best practices, support for voters with disabilities and poll worker recruitment.

The executive orders direct the use of state agency resources to ensure adequate facilities and staffing during next year’s election, including giving state employees paid leave to serving as poll workers, and to promote voter registration.

“The work of the task force, the governor’s executive orders and the much needed $2 million in election support will be critical in building towards smooth and successful elections in 2024,” Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, a member of the task force, said in a press release.

Why did Gov. Katie Hobbs allocate funding, issue executive orders for elections?

All Wednesday’s actions were in response to concerns raised by the Bipartisan Elections Task Force, which was chaired by Hobbs and former Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, a Republican.

“Election officials and voters are facing new challenges when it comes to administering elections and participating in our democracy,” the Democratic governor said in the release. “I am thrilled to immediately address some of the problems identified by the Bipartisan Elections Task Force to ensure Arizona voters can make their voices heard.”

The task force was formed after a particularly contentious 2022 midterm election where two Republican-leaning counties dragged their feet or initially refused to certify results. Officials at the time said they were doing it to protest voting issues in Maricopa County. Some GOP officials blamed the state’s most populous county for losses in top races, including for governor and the U.S. Senate.

The task force was made up of state election and security experts, voting rights advocates, lawmakers and current and former election officials.

They made 16 policy recommendations in total. Improving poll worker recruitment, improving voter registration across counties, ballot return interference and an election worker code of conduct were among the issues addressed

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Phoenix Fan Fusion...

Geeks invited to assemble at Phoenix Fan Fusion this weekend

Looking to fly your geek flag this weekend? The Phoenix Fan Fusion event may be the place for you.

32 minutes ago

(KTAR News Photo)...

Mike Broomhead

Amazing Arizonans: Suns radio legend Al McCoy discusses roots, career highlights

Al McCoy describes being told that he was never going to be a good broadcaster and how he never gave up on his dream on this episode of Amazing Arizonans.

41 minutes ago

Maricopa County budget for 2025: $25M into workforce support...

Maricopa County plans to cut property tax rate for 4th year in a row as part of annual budget

How will the Maricopa County budget for 2025 benefit the community? A Monday announcement explains where the money could go.

51 minutes ago

Secrecy clauses in Sun City West facility part of Kris Mayes lawsuit...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona Attorney General sues health care facility over illegal secrecy clause, elder abuse

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes accused a Sun City West facility of using illegal secrecy clauses to hide elder abuse on May 20, 2024.

1 hour ago

The first batch of bottle-fed baby kittens of the year under the Arizona Humane Society's care are ...

Arizona Humane Society’s 1st bottle baby kittens of 2024 ready for adoption

The first batch of bottle-fed baby kittens of the year under the Arizona Humane Society's care are now ready for their forever homes.

9 hours ago

Follow @kstonezone...

Sponsored Content by Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs takes action to address Bipartisan Elections Task Force concerns