Here’s a piece of news for anyone who was following the petition signature disasters of 2018: the politicians figured out a way to get their candidate petitions signed online through the Secretary of State’s office on something called E-Qual.
You read that right. While thousands of volunteers were hitting the streets gathering up petition signatures one at a time day in and day out, week after week, month after month, the politicians could just sit back and direct people to the state’s website where they can “sign” nominating petitions.
When I first saw this I thought this must have been testing a system or something similar. One call to the Secretary of State election division cleared that up. No, I was told, the system to allow politicians to avoid having to collect signatures one at a time out on the street was legitimate.
And, I was told; there were none of those pesky fraudulent petition signatures to deal with. After a voter filled out a basic form their information was immediately matched against the statewide voter file, the same one that is used now manually. If everything matches up, your name goes on their petition. If not, too bad.
They even gave me where in Arizona law this was allowed. Turns out, it’s been there for ages. You can look it up yourself. Just Google “ARS 16 – 316.” That’s where the politicians stashed this backdoor. But that one just took care of candidates for the legislature and statewide offices.
But wait there’s more. Check out “ARS 16 – 318“. That
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve been working with candidates and campaigns for decades and I can put up with their occasional perks.
But this is way over the line.
Show me one candidate who’ll campaign to expand online petition signatures for ALL of us that includes referendums, initiatives and constitutional amendments I’ll be all in for her.