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HOBBS DIGS HERSELF IN DEEPER WITH UPDATED E-QUAL “GUIDANCE”
Secretary of State blames candidates, again tells them to hire their own lawyers”

Phoenix, AZ – Steve Gaynor, founder of Fair Maps Arizona and GOP candidate for governor, today slammed Katie Hobbs’ efforts to blame others for her office’s candidate ballot access system debacle.

Hobbs’ failure to prevent the E-QUAL system collapse is documented here by the Arizona Mirror.

After facing criticism for her failure from Gaynor and others, Hobbs’ office sent an email to candidates last night doubling down on her “hire your own lawyer” guidance and offering no solution to her problem.

From the email: “Please seek legal advice if you have questions about how your campaign wants to proceed with signature collection via E-Qual this cycle.”

In the email, Hobbs even blamed the candidates for filling out the forms correctly:

“If you have erroneously opened a campaign profile under the uncertified 2022 maps, an option for you to switch districts to your 2020 district will be provided soon. If you continue to collect signatures under your 2022 district, those signatures may be invalid and subject to challenge in court.”

Here’s a quote from Steve on the situation:

“The responsibility for the E-Qual debacle lies squarely with Secretary Hobbs. She has known since she took office almost three years ago that district boundaries would change for the 2022 election. Her latest ‘guidance’ does not fix the issue, and attempts to put the burden on candidates who have no control over the situation. This is a critical time for legislative and congressional candidates to qualify to get on the ballot. Every day that goes by without a practical solution disrupts the democratic process in our state. If Hobbs can’t run a simple system like E-Qual, how could she run Arizona state government as governor?”

Here’s the E-Qual section of the email that Hobbs’ office sent last night:

E-Qual Guidance

As a reminder, the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) has not yet certified the 2022 Congressional and Legislative maps. Based on feedback we have received from candidates, we will be providing additional guidance for online signature gathering (E-Qual). We will send that guidance out via email and update our website once it is finalized. Below is updated guidance based on the most pressing questions:
Statewide Candidates: E-Qual signature collection will not be impacted by redistricting. Please note that E-Qual petitions must be printed and filed with our Office by 5:00 p.m. on April 4.
State Legislative and Congressional Candidates: E-Qual signatures can be collected from voters in the candidate’s 2020 district as designated in their Candidate Portal campaign profile. If you have erroneously opened a campaign profile under the uncertified 2022 maps, an option for you to switch districts to your 2020 district will be provided soon. If you continue to collect signatures under your 2022 district, those signatures may be invalid and subject to challenge in court.

As soon as the IRC certifies 2022 maps, counties will begin working towards implementing the new maps in the statewide voter registration database. Once the counties are ready to begin importing updated files and moving voters to new districts in the voter registration system, E-Qual will be suspended for all Legislative and Congressional Candidates. At this time, all candidates will receive a communication reminding them of the closure of E-Qual and the process for updating to their 2022 district.

All candidates have until 5:00 p.m. on April 4 to update their district to the appropriate 2022 district and submit their Nomination Paper and Financial Disclosure Statement (if applicable) as well as any supplemental signatures that might be required.

Voters who access E-Qual throughout this time will receive a notice informing them about how they may be impacted by redistricting and that they will only be able to sign E-Qual petitions for Legislative and Congressional candidates in their 2020 districts.

Please seek legal advice if you have questions about how your campaign wants to proceed with signature collection via E-Qual this cycle.

If you have any questions, please email candidate@azsos.gov.