Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections


How Katie Hobbs Made It Easier For Somebody to Impersonate You at the Ballot Box


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

WASHINGTON, DC – A lawsuit filed in Arizona court by Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE) demonstrates how Governor Katie Hobbs violated state law in her previous role as Secretary of State by authorizing an illegal expansion of the database of signatures used to verify ballots, including the addition of potentially unreliable signatures.

“Signature verification is a critical election integrity measure that is under sustained attack,” said Derek Lyons, President & CEO of RITE. “We are fighting to protect it so that it is available to safeguard the integrity of future elections. Hobbs’ illegal instructions degrade the reliability of signature verification over time by enabling more and more ballots to be tested against an ever-expanding database of signatures, some of which may not be sufficiently reliable. Arizona law is clear that only certain, reliable signatures can be used to verify mail-in ballots. The new Secretary of State must revoke Hobbs’ instructions and enforce the law enacted by the Arizona legislature.”

The lawsuit, filed in partnership with Arizona Free Enterprise Club and a concerned Arizona voter, asks the court to enforce state law and ensure that county officials validate mail ballots using only signatures that are part of the voter’s registration record, not, as the complaint warns, using any “loop, jot, or tiddle” in any signature that happens to be in their possession, many of which may be unreliable. A key argument RITE makes is that the signature verification process, as provided in the election code, is necessary to ensure confidence in Arizona’s elections:

“The signature presented on an early ballot affidavit is the fulcrum on which the integrity of that ballot pivots; it is the only means by which the county recorder can verify that a person casting an early ballot by mail is, in fact, a duly qualified elector. And given the centrality of early ballots to elections in this state, signature verification is also foundational to the overall integrity of Arizona’s elections.”

The law directs election officials to compare the mail ballot to the “signature of the elector on the elector’s registration record.” This excludes, for example, signatures collected from mail-in ballots received in previous elections. These signatures are not part of the registration record and are less likely than registration signatures to trace back to the voter in question.  

Lyons added, “Hobbs’ instructions subvert the signature law and increase the risk that invalid ballots will enter the ballot box and be counted. The inevitable consequence of forever increasing the number of signatures on file for comparison, including from potentially unreliable sources, is harm to the public’s confidence in the integrity of their elections. And with more unreliable signatures being added with every election, the database is becoming increasingly less useful as an identity verification tool. Hobbs’ instructions threaten to completely subvert Arizona’s signature verification regime. That is why they must be revoked before the next election.” 

About RITE

Co-founded in 2022 by National Finance Chairman Steve Wynn, Senior Advisor Karl Rove, and Chairman of the Board Bobby R. Burchfield, RITE is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the rule of law in elections. Working with some of the finest lawyers in the country, RITE supports faithful enforcement of valid, properly enacted, and adopted laws and regulations that promote secure, efficient, and accurate elections throughout the United States.

For updates, follow Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections on Twitter.


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