ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Sec. Adrian Fontes blames thwarted election crisis on ‘rumors,’ ‘conspiracy theories’

Feb 16, 2024, 4:35 AM

Close-up of Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes on the left and the state Capitol with its cop...

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes said Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, that he disagrees with how the Legislature handled a potential election crisis. (Getty Images and KTAR News File Photos)

(Getty Images and KTAR News File Photos)

PHOENIX – Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes said Thursday he thinks lawmakers addressed the wrong problem when they revised the state’s election calendar last week.

With near-unanimous bipartisan support in both chambers, the Republican-led Legislature passed an emergency bill making multiple changes to the election timeline on Feb. 8. Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs signed it into law the next day to avert a potential 2024 election crisis.

The most notable adjustment was moving this year’s primary election up a week to July 30.

Although a bullet was dodged, Fontes blames the Legislature for pulling the trigger in the first place.

“They’re making decisions based on rumors, innuendos and conspiracy theories,” the Democrat told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

Why did Arizona lawmakers change election calendar?

County officials had warned lawmakers the timeline updates were needed to prevent the state from potentially missing federally mandated deadlines for mailing ballots to military members before the general election and for the certification of the Arizona’s presidential electors afterward.

Fontes, however, said it was potential crisis of the Legislature’s own making.

“Here’s the bottom line: Based on conspiracy theories and a bunch of hoo-ha, some folks lowered the threshold for recounts,” the Democrat said.

He was referring to a law signed by former Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, in 2022 that increased the margin needed to trigger an automatic recount in an Arizona election contest. The margin was increased from 0.1% to 0.5%, opening the door to more recounts in the battleground state.

What does Adrian Fontes think about lawmakers’ approach?

Supporters of the change said it would build voter confidence, although Fontes said it was “based on nonsense.”

“It’s going to take more time. It’s going to cost more money,” he said. “But instead of moving that [recount margin] back to where it had been for decades, we had to make all kinds of other adjustments, which is confusing.”

Fontes noted that Navajo Nation had already adjusted its election calendar to match the state timeline, and now the tribe is forced to change again. The new law also shortens time to cure missing or non-matching early ballot signatures.

“Instead of fixing the problem that they created, some of the folks in the Legislature decided that this lower threshold that was based on nonsense had to stay, so everybody else had to make a whole bunch of adjustments,” he said. “And it just shows the fact that some people in our state government are not negotiating in good faith.”

While he disagrees with how lawmakers handled the issue, Fontes said he’ll do what is needed to serve Arizona’s voters.

“We’re just going make things happen regardless of the adjustments that are necessary,” he said.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

BASIS Peoria high school ranks best in the nation, US News says...

KTAR.com

West Valley high school ranked as best in nation by US News

The newly released 2024 best high schools rankings from U.S. News declared the BASIS Peoria high school as the best in the nation.

5 hours ago

The American and Ukrainian flags wave in the wind outside of the Capitol on Tuesday, April 23, 2024...

Associated Press

Senate overwhelmingly passes aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan with big bipartisan vote

The Senate has passed $95 billion in war aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, sending the legislation to Biden after months of delays.

7 hours ago

Expand Sky Harbor: Phoenix mayor announces terminal plans...

Serena O'Sullivan

Phoenix city leaders want a new terminal at Sky Harbor Airport

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego announced city leaders' intentions to expand Sky Harbor International Airport during a Tuesday speech.

7 hours ago

Pages from the United Healthcare website are displayed on a computer screen, Feb. 29, 2024, in New ...

Associated Press

UnitedHealth says wide swath of patient files may have been taken in Change cyberattack

The company said after markets closed that it sees no signs that doctor charts or full medical histories were released after the attack.

8 hours ago

James LoMenzo, Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Mustaine and Kiko Loureiro attend SiriusXM's 'Trunk Nation' wit...

Damon Allred

‘Destroy All Enemies’ tour comes to Phoenix courtesy of metal band Megadeth

Heavy-rocking band Megadeth announced Tuesday a nationwide tour that stops in Phoenix in August with guests Mudvayne and All That Remains.

9 hours ago

Tuesday morning collision kills man...

KTAR.com

Man run over while pushing shopping cart on Phoenix roadway

A man is dead after a Tuesday morning collision near 35th Avenue and Osborn Road, the Phoenix Police Department announced.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

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.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Arizona Sec. Adrian Fontes blames thwarted election crisis on ‘rumors,’ ‘conspiracy theories’