August 15, 2023

PHOENIX — Today, Arizona voting rights advocacy organizations issued a joint letter commenting on the first draft of the election procedures manual. All Voting is Local Arizona Senior Campaign Manager Rosemary Avila issued the following statement:

“Changes to the Election Procedures Manual must benefit voters and provide clear guidance for election administrators. Secretary Fontes must include policies and procedures that make voting as accessible as possible, under the law, for all eligible voters in Arizona.”

Included in the joint letter:

Upon reviewing the first draft of the Elections Procedures Manual, we have collectively identified several key areas that we believe are of utmost importance. We believe the following recommendations will benefit all voters across Arizona if implemented. Our recommendations are outlined below and organized into key topics: 

  1. In-person early voting must be widely available for general and Presidential Primary elections.
  2. Oral and written minority language assistance must be widely available to ensure equal access to the ballot.
  3. The Manual must ensure that Native American voters have equal access to the ballot by requiring counties to consult with Tribal governments.
  4. The Manual must include explicit provisions explaining the rights of detained voters and require jail and elections officials to facilitate voting for detained persons.
  5. County Recorders must make robust efforts to contact voters after returned mail or to notify them about incomplete or missing information.
  6. The Manual must guard against abusive and frivolous challenges to voters and their cast ballots.
  7. The Manual must delete provisions currently being litigated.

The full letter can be read in its entirety here.


Secretary of State Fontes has released the first draft of the 2023-2024 Election Procedures Manual for public comment. The public comment period was shortened to two weeks, and commenters were limited to using an online form, which excluded previous ways to offer public comment, such as in-person public hearings. The Election Procedures Manual is the key document that guides the implementation and administration of Arizona elections.