‘Total Breakdown’ of Electronic System for Collecting Candidates’ Petition Signatures Under Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs

Candidates running for office in Arizona are reporting difficulty collecting signatures online due to a “total breakdown” of Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ website, as Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Gaynor described it. Hobbs, a Democrat, is also running for governor. New redistricting maps have been established, and although candidates are allowed to collect signatures from either their old district or their new district, if they’ve filed to run in the new district, the E-Qual system will only accept signatures from the old district with that number — which might be a completely different area.

Labeling the technical difficulties a “total breakdown,” Gaynor said in a statement, “The breakdown of the E-QUAL system is a slap in the face to Arizona candidates and voters, and all the hard work that has been done during the AIRC process. Secretary Hobbs has utterly failed to protect our election process, and her mismanagement of the E-QUAL system is the latest indication that Arizona’s elections are not in safe hands.”

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Analysis: States Where Unelected Bureaucrats Took over Redistricting Experienced Difficulties

In Michigan, the state’s civil rights agency said proposed maps of legislative districts “do not measure up to the requirements of the law.” In Pennsylvania, Republican lawmakers complained about an “extreme partisan gerrymander.” And in Virginia, incumbents and potential challengers scrambled to work with proposed district maps.

In theory, new bureaucracies to draw up maps for congressional and legislative districts were supposed to save democracy from politics and block the practice of gerrymandering.

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Independent Redistricting Chair Sides with Democrats in First Round of Arizona’s Legislative Maps

Commission Chair Erika Schupak Neuberg

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) elected to begin final debate on a set of congressional maps that are favored by Democrats.

The decision was made when independent Commission Chair Erika Schupak Neuberg sided with two Democrats to override the two-vote GOP minority.

The commission was established in November 2000, when voters in the state passed Proposition 106, a citizen initiative that amended the Arizona Constitution by removing the power to draw congressional and state legislative districts from the state legislature and reassigning this task to the IRC.

The vote that Neuberg decided created a starting point for the discussion of the final boundaries. The committee will continue to debate through multiple meetings on December 21 and 22nd.

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Pennsylvania House Committee Releases Public-Drawn Congressional Redistricting Map

The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee has unveiled a preliminary map for new congressional districts, selected from one of 19 submitted by the public.

Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, chair of the State Government Committee, said a map submitted by Lehigh County resident Amanda Holt was selected because it was crafted without political influence, met constitutional standards and limited splits of townships and municipalities, among other factors.

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North Carolina Adopts New Congressional Map That Favors Republicans

The North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday finalized the state’s new U.S. House map that gives Republicans a distinct advantage over Democrats.

The map creates 10 safe Republican seats, three safe Democratic seats and one competitive seat, up from the current 8-5 map now. North Carolina is the only state where the legislature has full control over the redistricting process, meaning that the new lines can skirt what would be an all but certain veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and go into effect.

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Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann to Retire, Won’t Seek Reelection

Karen Fann

Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) on Monday announced that she will retire when her current term ends and will not seek reelection in 2022.

Fann, who was a key supporter of the audit of ballots in Maricopa County, has served 28 years in state and local government positions. 

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Pennsylvania Bill Would Clarify That Courts Can’t Redraw Electoral Maps, as State Supreme Court Did in 2018

Legislation currently in the works in the Pennsylvania General Assembly would spell out two rules for redistricting in the Keystone State: Elections cannot legally take place in outdated districts and courts can’t create new districts themselves.

In Feb. 2018, the Democrat-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court not only struck down Pennsylvania’s congressional maps as unconstitutionally gerrymandered, it reimposed new maps created with no input from the legislature, something state law does not grant the court the right to do. The new maps strongly favored the Democrats’ electoral prospects.

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Moses Sanchez Announces Campaign for Phoenix City Council to Replace Term Limited Sal DiCiccio

With popular conservative Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio term limited, local activist and professor Moses Sanchez, a Republican, announced he is running for the District 6 slot based in Ahwatukee. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Phoenix in 2018, a difficult race for Republicans since Phoenix has more Democrats, but District 6 leans Republican. 

“I’m proud to call Ahwatukee home,” he said in a statement on August 11. “I’ve raised my family in Phoenix, served on our local school board, run for Mayor, and worked to grow a small business. I’m running for Phoenix City Council to provide the same opportunities this city has given me and stand up for the most overlooked community in Phoenix.”

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Arizona Legislature Overrides Ducey’s Veto

Doug Ducey

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 25-5 Thursday to override Governor Doug Ducey’s veto of a bill that made technical corrections to previously enacted laws. Ducey vetoed SB1635 along with 21 other bills a month ago, following through on a threat he’d made in May over the legislature’s failing to send him a budget. It was the first time in 40 years, the Arizona Senate has overruled the governor.

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