Goddard advised the capacity audience that Secretary of State Ken “Birther” Bennett has recently released a Revision to the State of Arizona Elections Procedure Manual to implement the “bifurcated” (dual system) election system that I have been posting about for some time. See, 10th Circuit grants stay pending appeal in proof-of-citizenship voter registration case.
The Revised Election Procedures Manual – Arizona Secretary of State (June 2014) (.pdf) was released without any fanfare or a press release. Here is the Introduction from the Secretary of State:
This is followed Governor Jan Brewer’s May 29, 2014 letter of approval of the new manual:
And Arizona Attorney General Tom “banned for life by the SEC” Horne’s May 12, 2014 letter of approval of the new manual:
Terry Goddard opposes this “bifurcated” dual election system. Goddard explained that the “bifurcated’ system means two lines for voters of every political party on election day: one line for those who registered to vote using the state of Arizona voter registration form, who will receive a full ballot; and one line for those who registered to vote using the National Voter Registration form, who will only be permitted to vote in federal races (congressional races in 2014). He believes this will be “a cloud on elections” in Arizona.
Goddard said that he does not believe this “bifurcated” dual election system would withstand judicial scrutiny in court. A member of the audience asked him whether a lawsuit has been filed to stop it.
Goddard did not know, but I do. The ACLU has not yet found the appropriate plaintiff(s) to bring this case. I previously posted:
I spoke with one of the attorneys involved in this litigation over the weekend and was advised that she is seeking appropriate plaintiffs to challenge the dual election system being implemented by Secretary Bennett, on the grounds that there is no constitutional or statutory authorization for it. An appropriate plaintiff is someone who registered to vote using the National Voter Registration form because he or she did not possess or have access to the documents required by Arizona for the state voter registration form. Rather than publish the attorney’s name and contact information here, you can contact the Arizona ACLU and they can put you in touch with the attorney.
If you or someone you know is an appropriate plaintiff, please contact the ACLU offices immediately.
Goddard also explained that this “bifurcated” dual election system is creating two classes of voters, and thus by executive fiat is changing the statutory definition of a “qualified elector” under Arizona law. A “qualified elector” is defined under A.R.S. § 16-621:
A. A person who is qualified to register to vote pursuant to section 16-101 and who is properly registered to vote shall, if he is at least eighteen years of age on or before the date of the election, be deemed a qualified elector for any purpose for which such qualification is required by law, except as provided in section 16-126. A person continues to be a qualified elector until that person’s registration is canceled pursuant to section 16-165 or until that person does not qualify as a resident as prescribed by section 16-101, subsection B.
Until Tom Horne’s AG Opinion No. 113-011 Here (.pdf), voters who registered to vote using either the state voter registration form or the federal voter registration form were “qualified electors” entitled to vote for all races on the full ballot. The Arizona Legislature has not made any revisions to Arizona statutory laws modifying the meaning of “qualified elector” to mean only those voters who registered using the state voter registration form. This is an arbitrary and capricious abuse of executive power.
Goddard also vowed that he would aggressively prosecute “dark money” organizations in Arizona, something the current Secretary of State and Attorney General have entirely failed to do. Goddard used as an example Sean Noble and the Center to Protect Patients Rights involved in California’s Biggest “Campaign Money Laundering” Scheme in 2012. Goddard stated that “dark money must be stopped, period.” He reminded the audience that as Arizona’s Attorney General he prosecuted money launderers, and “dark money is just another form of money laundering.”
Goddard said that he would go to the legislature to ask for a new statutory regime requiring disclosure of campaign contributors — something the U.S. Supreme Court fully endorsed in its Citizens United v. FEC opinion — and if the Arizona Legislature will not enact this new new statutory regime requiring disclosure of campaign contributors, he will be back with a citizens initiative to put it on the ballot in 2016.
Goddard also objected to the fact that Secretary of State Ken “Birther” Bennett withheld some $10 million dollars of Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds badly needed by elections divisions in Arizona, but he now wants to spend that money on public service announcements (PSAs) that feature his face and name — nothing like using state funds to benefit your own campaign I’d say. Ken Bennett wants OK to appear in election ads.
Goddard also vowed that he would not use the office of Secretary of State to be the state campaign co-chair of any presidential candidate, something that his predecessors Ken Bennett (Mitt Romney) and Jan Brewer (George W. Bush, John McCain) had done. it undermines public confidence in the office as a fair and impartial administrator of elections in Arizona.
Finally, Goddard decried the lack of voter participation in Arizona, which ranked 45th in voter participation in 2012.
Goddard attributed this to the fact that many voters feel the deck is stacked against them and that their vote does not matter. The majority of Arizonans do not support the far-right agenda of the Arizona legislature (but they do not vote).
Goddard reminded the audience that only 8% of so-called “independent” voters bothered to vote in the party primary elections in 2012. He encouraged everyone to educate the independent voters they know that they can vote in party primary elections. (The postcard notification to independent voters that they need to select a party ballot should have been mailed to voters recently).
Goddard said that he wants to increase voter participation and the sense of voter empowerment when he is Secretary of State.
I strongly encourage all of you to cast your vote for Terry Goddard.