Democrats say the grants wouldn't be necessary if the Legislature provided enough money to county election officials to run elections.
“It’s easy to make a boogeyman our of billionaires. I don’t like them either. But we put ourselves in this situation,” Sen. Juan Mendez, a Tempe Democrat, said of the Legislature's budgeting decisions. “Our elections are so underfunded we’ve got counites out there asking for money to do voter outreach.”
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs used $4.8 million from the Center for Election Innovation and Research for an advertising campaign telling voters when and how to vote, encourage signup for the permanent early voting list, recruit poll workers and combat misinformation before and after the election.
C. Murphy Hebert, a spokeswoman for Hobbs, said the money was crucial in education people about how to safely vote during a pandemic, but would be banned if Ducey signs the bill.
Nine counties — Apache, Coconino, Graham, La Paz, Maricopa, Navajo, Pima, Pinal and Yuma — also received grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, Hebert said.