The Republican governor of Arizona signed a bill into law on Tuesday to create a system to remove inactive voters from an early voting list.
Those who will be removed include individuals who do not vote early at least once in a primary or general election “for which there was a federal race on the ballot” or a primary or general for a municipal election. Election officials will be required to send notice to those who are going to be removed, and the voters will have 90 days to respond to such notices and tell the state whether they would like to remain on the list.
The list has, up until this point, been dubbed the permanent early voting list but will now be known as the active early voting list. The voter would remain registered regardless of their status on the list, Ducey said in a Tuesday video statement, adding that being removed from the list would not preclude someone from showing up at their polling place to vote.
“This change will ensure that active voters continue to receive a ballot and free up resources for county recorders to use on priorities like election security and voter education,” the Republican said. “Let’s be clear. Despite all the deceptive and heated rhetoric being used by some partisan activists to lobby against this reform, not a single Arizona voter will lose their right to vote as a result of this new law.”
Critics argue the law creates an unnecessary barrier to voting.
“The true intent of this bill is undeniable and that is to suppress the votes of low-income, Black, Latino and Native American voters,” Arizona Senate Democrats said in a Tuesday statement, adding, “The Arizona GOP are so threatened by progress and so convinced that they cannot win fairly, that they are actively attacking our democracy at all levels.”
Democrats also estimated the measure would purge over 120,000 eligible Arizona voters from the list, though it is unclear how they reached that number. Republican state Sen. Kelly Townsend posted a memo from the Arizona Legislative Council on Facebook on May 4 which stated the bill would not be retroactive, meaning no one will be removed from the list for at least four years.
The Tuesday victory for Republicans comes as GOP-controlled state legislatures across the country attempt to pass voting reform bills. Many of those bills appear to have come out of a concerns about voter fraud, following accusations from former President Donald Trump that the 2020 election was stolen by Democrats.
Ducey defended the Arizona election count, one of the contests most vehemently objected to by the former president and his supporters, and which is partially being examined now in the Arizona Senate’s audit in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix.
“I’m very proud of Arizona’s election system. And I’ve been a vocal champion of it, from the state capitol to the Oval Office,” Ducey said, according to NPR. “Because of that, some have suggested that means I can never ever support any improvements. That’s ridiculous.”
Author : Haley Victory Smith