Brnovich asks for unsigned ballots ruling to be put on hold

PHOENIX (AP) — Attorney General Mark Brnovich has asked an appeals court to hold off on enforcing a ruling that gives Arizona voters who forget to sign their early ballots up to five days after the election to fix the problem.

The Republican attorney general made the request Monday to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as his office challenges the lower-court ruling. State and national Republican groups and President Trump’s campaign also asked for the ruling to be put on hold while it’s being appealed.

Democratic groups argued it was unfair for election officials not to allow voters to “cure” unsigned ballots.

Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wanted the extra five days included in the state’s updated election procedures manual. Brnovich refused to sign off on the provision, so Hobbs removed it. The Democratic groups filed a lawsuit.

Brnovich’s office argued the ruling brushes aside a state law requiring absentee ballots to be returned with a signature by close of polls on election day.

Only a few thousand ballots are likely to be affected. In 2016, Arizona rejected just over 3,000 ballots for not having a signature.