Former Arizona elections chief questions crowded room as voucher petitions checked

Former Arizona elections director Joe Kanefield explains how the secretary of state's office and county recorders will verify 111,000 petition signatures calling for a statewide vote on Arizona's school-voucher expansion.

A former Arizona elections director raises questions about the large number of partisan observers at the secretary of state's office, as employees began verifying petitions calling for a statewide vote on Arizona's school-voucher expansion.

"I would be concerned," said Joe Kanefield, a former Arizona elections director who was my newsmaker guest this weekend.

"I think the most important part about that process is that the election workers be able to do their jobs unobstructed, uninhibited. A lot of people in the room, there's obviously a chance something could go wrong."

Earlier in the week, Save Our Schools Arizona delivered petitions with 111,000 voter signatures to Secretary of State Michele Reagan.

Under new procedures that Reagan's office said were designed to increase transparency, up to six observers from each side were allowed to watch. In the past, just one observer per side was allowed in.

SOS leaders questioned whether observers with the groups backing the voucher expansion were influencing Reagan's employees.

Reagan's office apparently is now lowering the number of observers. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing.

Also on "Square Off," we have a Left/Right debate with Marilyn Rodriguez, Democratic consultant at Creosote Partners, and Constantin Querard, Republican consultant at Grassroots Partners.

We discuss:

-Whether opponents of the school-voucher expansion can win at the ballot box.
-How Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema's apparent decision to enter the U.S. Senate race shakes things up.
-Why GOP Senate candidate Kelli Ward had a good and bad week.
-Why Republican voters tell pollsters they're OK with postponing the 2020 presidential election.
-What Arizona college students heading back to school can learn from our college experiences.

"Sunday Square Off" airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on 12 News, after "Meet the Press."

How school-voucher petitions will be verified

Former Arizona elections director Joe Kanefield explains how the secretary of state's office and county recorders will verify 111,000 petition signatures calling for a statewide vote on Arizona's school-voucher expansion.

How Sinema shakes up U.S. Senate race

In our Left/Right debate, how Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema's apparent decision to enter the U.S. Senate race shakes things up, and can opponents of the school-voucher expansion win at the ballot box?

Good week, bad week or both for Kelli Ward?

In our Left/Right debate, it was an up and down week for GOP Senate candidate Kelli Ward. Plus, does President Trump's declaration of an national opioid emergency change anything in Arizona?

Republican voters say they'd postpone 2020 election. Really?

Republican voters tell pollsters they're OK with postponing the 2020 presidential election. Can that possibly be right? And what Arizona college students heading back to school can learn from our panel's college experience.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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