Arizona Secretary of State says budget doesn’t provide enough election security funds
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Since signing the budget, Gov. Katie Hobbs has been taking heat from high-profile members of her own party. One of those Democratic critics is Secretary of State, Adrian Fontes.
Fontes believes the governor short-changed him on election security funding. He wanted an extra $2.7 million, with a big chunk going into additional security for the upcoming election. Fontes thought the funding would be provided, given Hobbs’s personal experience. As former secretary of state, Hobbs received death threats following the 2020 election.
In gearing up for the next presidential election, the secretary of state feels like this should have been a priority. He says an added level of security would make it easier to recruit, train and maintain election officials.
Across the state, senior election officials have been walking away from the job. Eleven out of Arizona’s 15 counties saw high-level officials leave the job this year as our state once again prepares for a big election. “Here’s the thing, folks want safe and secure elections. We need to pay for it. Really, we weren’t asking for much. Security is a big deal, and it comes in three packages. There’s information technology and security systems, there’s locking down our infrastructure, which is where our people live, and then security for our folks making sure we don’t have any internal threats,” he explained. “At the end of the day, it’s the final result that matters. The result that we got is a reflection of a stance that does not prioritize election security.”
Gov. Hobbs’s spokesperson provided Arizona’s Family with this statement:
Fontes says without the funds for the continuation of election official training, he’s worried there won’t be confidence to provide consistent service each year.
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