As Americans and Arizonans, we must all work to preserve the integrity of our elections. The Attorney General’s Office is dedicated to vigorously defending our state’s common sense election laws and prosecuting anyone who is found to have committed voter fraud.
During the 2019 legislative session, the Arizona Legislature appropriated funds to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for purposes of establishing an Elections Integrity Unit (EIU). Currently there are four members on EIU:
- Senior Criminal Prosecutor
- Senior Civil Attorney
- Special Agent
- Administrative Employee
File an elections related complaint.
Below, you will find a summary of previous and current prosecutions and cases where the Attorney General’s Office has defended the integrity of our elections.
The majority of voter fraud cases prosecuted in Arizona are related to double voting (typically charged as illegal voting and false voter registration). Under Arizona law, illegal voting is a class 5 or class 6 felony. A person found guilty faces up to 2 or 2.5 years in prison, fines, restitution, loss of voting rights, and/or probation.
There are active criminal investigations being handled by the EIU.
(Due to the sensitive nature of criminal investigations and ethical rules for prosecutors, the amount of information that can be provided on active criminal cases is limited.)
A full list of AGO criminal prosecutions related to voter fraud since 2010 can be found below.
- The AGO defended Arizona’s commonsense election laws concerning ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
- General Brnovich intervened on behalf of the State after the Secretary of State declined to defend the measures.
- 14 amicus briefs were filed in June 2020 in support of AGO urging SCOTUS to review Brnovich v DNC.
- In October 2020, SCOTUS agreed to hear Brnovich V DNC.
- Oral arguments made in 2021.
Arizonans for Fair Elections v. Hobbs
- Plaintiffs sued in federal court, attempting to force the State to accept signatures on initiative petitions through the online system E-Qual, even though the Arizona Constitution requires signatures to be signed in the presence of a circulator.
- General Brnovich intervened on behalf of the State after the Secretary of State declined to defend the constitution.
- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request by Plaintiffs for an injunction pending appeal.
- The plaintiffs then voluntarily withdrew their lawsuit, conclusively ending the litigation.
Second Chances v. Hobbs
- A different group of Plaintiffs filed suit in the Arizona Supreme Court and similarly attempted to use E-Qual for ballot measures.
- General Brnovich intervened after the Secretary of State declined to defend the statute.
- In a 6-1 decision, the Arizona Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction of the case and rejected Plaintiffs’ claims on the merits. This decision ends the lawsuit filed in state court.
Miracle v. Hobbs
- The AGO successfully defended the Arizona’s "Strikeout Law" that requires paid and out-of-state circulators to make court appearances when signatures are challenged and the circulators are subpoenaed.
- General Brnovich intervened on behalf of the State after the Secretary of State declined to defend the statute.
- On May 1st, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s denial of the request to defend the law, and plaintiffs withdrew their lawsuit shortly after.
State v. Fontes
- The AGO obtained a restraining order to stop Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes from illegally mailing ballots for the Presidential Preference Election.
AGO Opinion RE: Candidate Petition Filings
- Senator Fann submitted an opinion request asking:
Can the Secretary of State require all candidate petitions be filed only by mail or must she provide the ability for a candidate to file their petitions in person by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date?
The AGO determined no, the Secretary of State cannot prohibit in-person filing and require that candidate petitions be mailed. State offices must be kept open for the transaction of public business. Accepting candidate filings and providing receipts for those filings are statutorily required business transactions performed by the Secretary of State’s Office. Prohibiting in-person filings closes the office to statutorily required business transactions.
Elections Procedures Manual
- Arizona law requires the Attorney General’s Office and the Governor’s Office to independently review the Elections Procedures Manual during every odd-numbered year.
- EIU reviewed the 2019 manual and identified 115 potential edits. An estimated 100 edits were incorporated in full or in part in the final manual.
News Releases/EIU Records of Interest
- Sahuarita Man Indicted for Allegedly Illegally Voting
- AG Brnovich Announces Former Candidate for Cochise County Superior Court Indicted for Perjury
- Letter to Rep. Finchem RE: Statements Regarding Evidence Related to Pima County 2020 General Election
- Letter to Liz Harris RE: Election 2020 Grassroots Canvass Report
- Letter to Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Re: Nov 2021 Jurisdictional Elections Administered by Maricopa County
- AZAG Request to Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and Recorder’s Office
- AZAG Request to Secretary of State RE: Voter Registration List Maintenance
- AG Brnovich Requests Additional Information on 2020 General Election
- AG Brnovich Issues Statement Regarding Arizona Senate’s Report on Election Audit
- AG Brnovich Issues Statement Regarding Arizona Election Audit Settlement
- Tucson Man Charged for Allegedly Illegally Voting in 2020 Election
- AG Brnovich Supports Georgia’s Election Integrity Law
- Scottsdale Woman Accused of Voting in the Name of Deceased Person Indicted
- Two Individuals Accused of Ballot Harvesting in Yuma County
- Phoenix Petition Signature Gathering Company Faces Criminal Charges for Alleged Illegal Payments to Prop 208 Initiative Circulators
- Former State Senate Candidate Indicted for Forging Signatures to Qualify for Citizens Clean Elections Fund
- AG Brnovich Announces AZ Initiative Law Upheld at State Supreme Court Second Chances v Hobbs
- AG Brnovich Successfully Defends Arizona Election Integrity Law Miracle v Hobbs
- Ninth Circuit Denies Request for Injunction in E-Qual Petition Signature Lawsuit
- Arizonans for Fair Elections v. Hobbs
- AG Brnovich Prevails at Ninth Circuit Defending AZ Election Law Miracle v Hobbs
- AG Brnovich Successfully Defends Arizona’s Election Law at US Supreme Court
- AG Brnovich Files Temporary Restraining Order to Stop Illegal Mailing of Ballots
- AG Brnovich Files Motion to Intervene on behalf of State in Ballot Harvesting Case
- Ninth Circuit Grants Attorney General Brnovich's Request for a Stay of Mandate in DNC v. Brnovich
- AG Brnovich Files Stay with Ninth Circuit to Protect Integrity of Arizona’s Elections
- Arizona Man Sentenced to Two Years Probation for Voter Fraud
- Tucson Man Charged with Multiple Felonies for Illegal Voting and Perjury
- Former Tucson Man Pleads Guilty to Voting Twice in 2016 General Election
- Former Flagstaff Mayoral Candidate Indicted for Submitting Forged Signatures
- Goodyear Man Receives Probation and Fine for Disrupting Polling Place in 2018