Arizona Secretary of State - Ken Bennett

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Press Release
For Immediate Release
Feb. 13, 2012

Contact: Matthew Roberts, Director of Communications
Phone: (602) 542-4283
Mobile: (602) 540-3521

Twitter: @therealAZsos

New Electronic Candidate Nomination System Launched

E-Qual to Allow Petition and Qualifying Contributions Online

PHOENIX  – In an effort to make the candidate nomination process more efficient and secure for voters and candidates, the Arizona Secretary of State's office has officially launched E-Qual, an electronic petition and $5 qualifying contribution system. The new online application allows candidates to collect up to 50 percent of their required signatures and $5 qualifying contributions.

In 2011, the state legislature established the pilot program enabling the collection of nominating petition signatures and Clean Elections qualifying contributions in a secure online environment. After a voter's identity is authenticated, E-Qual matches the voter with the candidates for which they are eligible to sign a nominating petition or make a $5 contribution. Only statewide and legislative candidates are eligible for E-Qual.

"Candidates and voters will find E-Qual is simple, secure and convenient," said Secretary Bennett. "Over the past few years our office has taken steps to modernize many of our election processes. With technological enhancements made to voter registration, ballot security and campaign finance, Arizonans have a system of elections that is consistent with today's technologies.

"Each day, Arizonans shop, pay their mortgage and do their banking online. Developing a process that allows them to sign a candidate petition on their computer rather than outside the mall or grocery store will encourage more people to get involved with our electoral process. While candidates still must continue the traditional way of circulating petitions, we anticipate E-Qual will facilitate participation in a positive and efficient manner."

"E-Qual will save time when processing signature challenges and while verifying the random sample of $5 contributions as the voter’s information has already been matched against the voter registration database," said Representative JD Mesnard. "With the addition of a voter identification number for each signer and contributor the number of ineligible signatures and contributions will be greatly reduced."

"Our agency is dedicated to promoting access to our political system and E-Qual is a major step forward," said CCEC Executive Director Todd Lang. "The ability to process half of the qualifying contributions electronically will help candidates enormously and we look forward to working with them as they seek elective office."

To allow for public inspection of nominating petitions, completed electronic petitions will be printed out and included with the standard circulated petitions and submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office during the filing period.

- You can view a short video of the news conference by clicking the link below. - Sorry the audio was a bit garbled...

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The Secretary of State's Biography
Secretary Ken Bennett's Biography
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Secretary Ken Bennett's Photo