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Arizona Secretary Of State Calls On Legislature To Allow All-Mail Elections

Katie Hobbs
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
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file | partner
Katie Hobbs

The Arizona secretary of state is asking the Legislature to allow counties to conduct all-mail elections this fall to keep voters and poll workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic. 

State law does not currently allow a county to conduct a state or federal election all by mail. Counties must provide in-person voting as well.

But Secretary of State Katie Hobbs says under current conditions, that could threaten the health and safety of voters and poll workers.

“A voter should never have to choose between exercising that fundamental right and their health,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said there could still be contingency options in place like a ballot replacement center to help voters with lost or damaged ballots.

She said this would be an emergency plan to help get through the primary election in August and the general election in November.

Hobbs said finding enough open and available locations for voting, as well as workers to staff them, has become a challenge and will probably only become more difficult.

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Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.