SPEAKER

 
Program Chair Harvey Clark introduced our special speaker of the day, Michele Reagan, Arizona's Secretary of state.  Michele is the youngest Secretary of State in the country.  She served 12 previous years in the state legislature prior to becoming S.O.S.- 8 in the House and 4 in the Senate.
Arizona is one of only 3 states that do not have a lieutenant-governor.  Rather, the Secretary of State is the de facto Lieutenant Governor and would replace a Governor vacancy as Jan Breuer did when Janet Napolitano left to become head of Homeland Security. 
Michele has been spearheading the updating of the electronic systems and methods used by the S.O.S office.  Some of the new developments:
1. Hackers - the S.O.S. computer systems experience 70,000 unwarranted hits per month.  Her office has put additional security measures in place and they are assisting other S.O.S0'.s in upgrading their security.
2. Arizona archives - these records have now been digitized to provide easy access from home rather than having to come to downtown Phoenix.  The records are available under the "Digital AZ Library" tab near the top of the Azlibrary.gov home page.
3. Political Contributions - Michele has developed a system for tracking political contributions for elections.  You can learn who gave how much to what candidates.  When asked about "dark money", she said 95% of the donations are transparent and the remaining 5% provide all the information they are required to provide under Federal law.
4. Petitions to get measures on the ballot - these start 18 months prior to the election.  The S.O.S. is responsible for verifying signatures on the petitions.  They compare the name of the signee with the voter lists.
5. Elections that don't end - lawsuits following an election drag out closure to some indefinite future date. The AZ legislature passed a law making "ballot harvesting" illegal.  Ballot harvesting is the delivery of a person's ballot by a 2nd party to the polling station.  The lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of the law. It is currently at the US District court and may reach the Supreme Court.
6. On-Line voting - this is being tried by several states for the convenience of military people serving overseas.  It is likely a long way off yet.  Interestingly, on-line voting rules developed so far closely follow those developed for on-line banking.
7. Who sends out ballots?  - it is the county recorders who do this, not the Secretary of States office.
 
Thank you so much Michele for your devoted service to the state and people of Arizona.  Your leadership in updating the capabilities of the office is exemplary. 
 
At the end of her presentation, Harvey Clark presented Michele with a club trading banner which she was happy to receive.