- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2016

A Chandler lawyer is again tangling with election officials, this time demanding Secretary of State Michele Reagan issue a procedures manual ahead of the November presidential election or face criminal charges.

Attorney Tom Ryan delivered a letter to Attorney General Mark Brnovich Thursday saying Reagan’s decision to not issue a new elections manual violates state law.

Ryan said statute requires Reagan to issue the manual for approval by the governor and attorney general by Friday. Failing to perform the duty is a class 6 felony, he said.

“She is interfering with the proper function of the attorney general and the proper function of the governor,” Ryan said. “Her whole focus has been on everything but her real job, which is to make sure elections are fair.”

Ryan cited a new law that makes it illegal to collect and drop off someone else’s ballot in most cases as one of many reasons why the secretary of state needs to issue a revised procedures manual before the election.

The elections procedures manual provides instructions for elections officials on how to carry out elections.

Secretary of state spokesman Matt Roberts said the law requires only that a manual is in place.

Roberts said the secretary of state intends to use the manual issued in 2014 for the upcoming election and re-write it next year.

“In our view it’s more prudent to take that on in 2017 than during a hectic election cycle when we had four elections in one year,” he said.

Mia Garcia, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, said they will respond once they’ve reviewed the letter.

Ryan previously sought a court order to postpose the May 17 special election because hundreds of thousands of voters didn’t receive their election guides in time.

Brnovich didn’t hold up the election, but said he believes Reagan violated the law. Brnovich has hired a former federal prosecutor to investigate the error.

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