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Online system for signature gathering available to would-be county attorney candidates

The resignation of Allister Adel as Maricopa County attorney has set off a dash to make an April 4 deadline to gather thousands of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.

Would-be top prosecutors can use an online tool to help meet their benchmark. 

The E-qual system, run by the Arizona Secretary of State, lets aspiring candidates gather nomination signatures online. The platform analyzes personal information to auto-confirm voter registration, plus determine which qualifying petitions people can sign.

“Online has become a very, very efficient route for people to collect last-minute signatures,” said Antonio Valdovinos, CEO of La Machine Consulting, which does signature gathering for campaigns. 

Valdovinos said by contrast, canvassers have to knock on about 200 doors just to get roughly 30 signatures. He views candidates with lots of enthusiasm online as having the best chance to qualify to run for Maricopa County Attorney.

The E-qual system has existed for about a decade and was expanded for use in local races in 2020.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.