Virtual events connect community with candidates for head elections officer in Pima County

TUCSON – The Arizona Center for Empowerment (ACE) and All Voting is Local Arizona today announced a series of virtual, nonpartisan forums where candidates for chief election officer in Pima County will discuss their vision for the office, voting during COVID-19, and how they plan to address voting in historically disenfranchised communities.

This is the first open primary for a Pima County Recorder in nearly 30 years. The forums will allow Pima County residents to learn how the recorder’s office runs elections, and share their concerns and personal experiences with voting. 

“We’re excited to partner with ACE to welcome Pima County residents into the discussion of what these candidates plan to do to protect their voices in future elections,” said Alex Gulotta, All Voting is Local Arizona state director. “The more we amplify the voices of the community, the better prepared our elected officials will be to serve.” 

The first of the three forums will take place on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 6 p.m., and candidates Kim Challender and Gabriella Cazares-Kelly will discuss how election officials should ensure voter safety in the time of COVID-19. Lorraine Rivera, host and producer of Arizona Public Media’s Arizona 360, will moderate the forum.

The other two forums will take place in late May and early June, and will focus on historically disenfranchised communities in need of expanded access to voting, and the future of democracy. Each will be streamed on ACE Facebook live, in English and Spanish.

“Now more than ever, there needs to be transparency and clear communication between our election officials and community members,” said Randy Perez, ACE democracy director. “These forums will help bridge that connection.”