The E-Qual system that allows participating clean-elections candidates to receive $5 contributions online was down for at least 10 days from June 28 – July 7. In a campaign, 10 days is a long time and in response Arizona Advocacy has sent a letter to the Citizens Clean Elections Commissioners.
Dear Citizens Clean Elections Commissioners,
The E-Qual system that allows participating clean-elections candidates to receive $5 contributions online was down for at least 10 days from June 28 – July 7. According to the AZ Secretary of State’s website, this was due to an FBI investigation into VRAZII, a statewide voter database, connected to E-Qual. While this action was most likely unavoidable and there was no intention to hurt clean elections candidates, it did create a major barrier for those who are still in the process of collecting their $5 qualifying contributions by August 23rd.
In a campaign, 10 days is a long time. A number of clean-elections candidates have told us that their campaigns were impeded by their inability to ask for and accept $5 donations online. Some who were able to turn in the required number of $5 donations could have turned them in earlier, allowing them to receive their money sooner, or allowing them to obtain a greater number of $5 contributions to ensure enough valid contributions to qualify.
This unforeseen problem needs to be rectified. While those 10 days cannot be brought back, it is possible to reduce the number of $5 qualifying contributions to the minimum statutory level for all candidates who were affected by E-Qual’s inaccessibility, including candidates who were negatively impacted, but still managed to file during the period of time that E-Qual was down.
We propose that under A.R.S. 16-956 (E), the Commission change the rules governing the number of qualifying contributions needed for legislative and corporation commission candidates to the minimum standard set in A.R.S. 16-950(D) for this election cycle (200 for legislative candidates and 1500 for Corporation Commission candidates). We also ask that this change in rules applies for all clean elections candidates who have turned in their qualifying contributions since E-Qual went down on June 28th, so that the equation used to verify these contributions will be altered to account for the barrier those candidates faced.
We encourage the Commission to act quickly, since the final day for clean elections candidates to turn in their $5 contributions, August 23, is fast approaching.
Arizona Advocacy Network
In light of the reduced availability of the E-Qual system, which allows participating clean elections candidates to receive $5 contributions online, at the end of the qualifying period from June 28 to July 7, 2016, the Commission suspends the operation of Rule 105(J), Arizona Administrative Code, R2-20-105(J), for the remainder of the 2015-2016 election cycle, thereby reducing the minimum number of valid qualifying contributions necessary to receive Clean Election funding to the statutory limits set in Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 16-950(D).
Further, it is the view of the Commission that this change take effect immediately pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 16-956(E).
This proposed resolution is supported by:
- Eric Spencer, Arizona State Election Director
And by the following 2016 clean elections candidates:
- Bill Mundell, Corporation Commission candidate
- Tom Chabin, Corporation Commission candidate
- Elizabeth Brown, District 12 State Senate candidate
- Scott Prior, District 16 State Senate candidate
- Todd Clodfelter, District 10 State House candidate
- Iisha Graves, District 13 State House candidate
- Cara Prior, District 16 State House candidate
- Manuel Hernandez, District 22 State House candidate
- Michael Martinez, District 26 State House candidate
- Steven Adkins, District 26 State House candidate
- Roberto Alfaro, District 29 State House candidate
- John Wilson, District 29 State House candidate