Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I have heard from two Southern Arizona candidates who tried to file their nomination petitions and their Clean Elections $5 contribution forms with the Secretary of State last week, and were told that the office cannot process their paperwork at this time.
A notice on the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections web site http://www.azcleanelections.gov/candidates/for-candidates/redistrictingfunding.aspx advises:
Redistricting & Candidate Funding
Although legislative districts have been approved by the Independent Redistricting Commission, these districts have not yet been precleared by the U.S. Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Because this has not occurred, the Arizona Secretary of State’s office cannot process candidate petitions for the ballot at this time because the Secretary cannot make a determination of the number of signatures necessary to qualify. Without this determination, the Secretary cannot process petitions, and, as a result legislative candidates cannot at this time receive Clean Elections funding.
Please contact the Clean Elections Commission or the Arizona Secretary of State’s office for further information.
I do not find any similar notice posted on the Secretary of State web site -- you would think this would be highlighted for the benefit of candidates.
I have been told that this is based upon an Arizona Attorney General Opinion, but the AG's web site only posts Opinions through the end of 2011.
Where is a press release from the Secretary of State and Attorney General explaining this issue?
I will update when I learn more.
The AIRC has not yet submitted the new legislative district maps to the Department of Justice for Voting Rights Act compliance review, a 60 day review period, so this will be a problem for candidates filing and receiving their Clean Elections disbursement for the primary until this redistricting issue is resolved.
This has the potential to handicap Clean Elections candidates in their primary races because they will not receive their disbursement until later in the year, whereas traditionally funded candidates can be spending money on their campaigns right now.