November 14, 2023

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Central Time

Law & Democracy Series: Panel of Arizona Election Administrators

Nebraska College of Law, McCollum Hall, Lincoln, NE

Law & Democracy Series:

The Law and Democracy Series involves a number of speakers and events occurring at the University of Nebraska College of Law that address the degradation of democracy, the deep polarization in our political culture, and the role of lawyers in preserving and thinking about democracy and the rule of law. This Series is provided by generous support from Barb and Ron Schaefer.

Event Description:

Arizona Elections Administrators have been at the front lines of the democratic process. These three panelists have unique experiences witnessing election law in action and the effect it has on administering elections at the local and state levels. Their backgrounds and current roles offer insight into the effects of political polarization on the electoral process and how lawyers can participate in the preservation of democracy. NOTE: The panelists are joining us over Zoom.

Lisa Marra serves as the Deputy Director of Elections for Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes. Lisa joined the executive team in March 2023, after serving as the Director of Elections in Cochise County, Arizona where she was Community Relations Administrator for the Board of Supervisors overseeing legislative affairs, public relations, and management of federal grant funds before being appointed Director of Elections in 2017. Prior to leaving Phoenix to relocate to southern Arizona and focus on the needs of rural communities, she was Vice-President of Workforce Policy at the Arizona Chapter Associated General Contractors (AGC). She directed all aspects of workforce development and membership services for the nation’s oldest and largest construction trade association. Lisa served three terms as the President of the Election Officials of Arizona, representing all 15 county election directors. She holds a Bachelors’ degree in Business, a Certified Public Manager (CPM) certification from Arizona State University and most recently obtained the highest professional achievement for election officials in the country, Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA). CERA designation is a multi-year course of study presented by Auburn University through the Election Center’s Professional Education Program. Her hobbies include quilting, reading election case law late into the night, and refusing to attend every fight she’s invited to. 

Colleen Connor is the Arizona State Elections Director. Connor was admitted to the Arizona State Bar in 1994, has over 25 years of election law experience, and is a Certified Election Officer. Starting in 1998 as an Arizona Attorney General, Colleen advised the Arizona Secretary of State's Office on election-related matters. In 2000 Connor was appointed by the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission to serve as its first Executive Director. After nearly 6 years as the Executive Director, Colleen returned to the practice of law as a Deputy County Attorney with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office where she represented the County Recorder and County Elections Department. In 2011, the Maricopa County Attorney Appointed Connor to serve as the Practice Group Leader for the Government Advice Group. In that capacity, Colleen continued to serve as the lead attorney for advising election officials and litigating election-related cases. Connor worked as a Deputy County Attorney with the Yavapai County Attorney's Office representing a broad range of Departments including the Elections Department and County Recorder.

Amy B. Chan was admitted to the Arizona State Bar in 1999 and serves as the General Counsel to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office. Chan is also a Commissioner for the Arizona Citizens for Clean Elections. Initially she worked as an immigration attorney, helping people obtain immigration benefits through the administrative and immigration court process. In 2001 she began work as a legislative research analyst for the House Judiciary Committee. She was an Administrative Law Judge for the Corporation Commission from 2005-2006 and then returned to the legislature as Policy Advisor and Counsel to the Majority for the State Senate. In 2009 Secretary of State Ken Bennett appointed her State Election Director. She served in that capacity until 2013, when she left to spend more time with her growing family. She and her husband Keith have two sons and live in Phoenix.