Issues with online petition system may leave some Arizona candidates off 2022 ballots

By Vaughan Jones
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Saturday, January 15, 2022 - 3:04pm
Updated: Saturday, January 15, 2022 - 3:17pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (609.2 KB)

The E-qual system allows Arizona political candidates to qualify for the ballot by gathering signatures online, instead of having to go door to door.

But a problem with the online system may leave some of those candidates out of the 2022 race as the primary deadline approaches.

E-qual’s issues stem from last year’s redistricting, as the system cannot hold two election maps at the same time, meaning it must be taken offline to update district lines.

Political consultant George Khalaf says candidates without the ability to pay petition circulators count on volunteers and E-qual’s online presence.

“Some of them, even if they have a lot of money, don't have as much money as statewide candidates, who assume they will be paying for signatures, count on volunteers for signatures and now count on E-Qual signatures. That is now a part of our campaign process, it is a part of our campaign plan,” said Khalaf.

The update is expected in mid-March, and the primary deadline is April 4, but Khalaf says candidates were not notified until this past week that E-qual is going to be taken offline.