Cochise County, AZ – after the letter sent by the AZ AG to the Cochise County prosecutor referring Secretary of State Katie Hobbs for possible criminal charges about the takedown of an online petition portal for candidates, the portal managed to be put back online within one day of the letter being sent.
On March 29, AZ AG March, Mrnovich contacted Cochise County prosecutor Brain Mclntyre about the potential civil and criminal actions against Hobbs for talking down the E-Qual system in mid-March. He cited the early takedown as being in violation of state law.
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‘’ I am writing to delegate my powers as Arizona Attorney General to you to investigate and take any appropriate enforcement actions (civil and criminal) regarding the Secretary of State (SOS) taking down the online E-Qual system beginning on or about March 17, 2022. The Scope of this delegation includes any actions or events prior to the March 17, 2022 takedown that is related to the SOS taking down the E-Qual system.”
In January, Hobbs made her intentions to shut down the online portal. Assistant AG Jennifer Wright warned her that doing so may result in felony and misdemeanor charges.
Hobbs wasn’t backing down and reiterated her intentions to shut down the online portal sometime in March.
In AG Brnovich’s March 29 letter, he noted that Hobbs proclaimed that the online portal would remain up and running “through the end of the statutory signature-gathering period, which is April 4, 2022. However, the SOS later claimed that she would take down the system beginning March 6.”
The AG’s office “received multiple written complaints after March 17, 2022, when the SOS took down the E-Qual system,” and instructed McIntyre to determine “what actions are appropriate to resolve this matter.”
“Thanks to a colossal effort by SOS staff & county officials, E-Qual is back up ahead of schedule after necessary redistricting updates for Congressional & Legislative candidates. Voters can sign E-Qual petitions for Statewide, Legislative, Congressional, & some local candidates.”