Arizona Gov. Signs Bill To Purge Early Voters Who Don't Vote By Mail In 2 Election Cycles

The new law, which could remove tens of thousands of people from the state’s Permanent Early Voting List, is the latest Republican effort to restrict the vote.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill that could purge tens of thousands of people from lists to receive mail-in ballots in the latest Republican attack against voting rights nationwide.

After Arizona lawmakers passed S.B. 1485 on Tuesday, the Republican governor signed it into law shortly afterward. The bill would remove voters from the state’s Permanent Early Voting List who did not vote by mail in the last two election cycles or the last four years, meaning those voters would no longer automatically be sent a mail-in ballot.

The governor claimed the bill was about “election integrity.” In fact, it could remove over 125,000 voters from the state’s list to receive mail-in ballots, including some 30,000 Latinx voters, according to the voting rights group Fair Fight Action.

Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who oversees elections, condemned the bill as “unnecessary” and “detrimental to voters” and said the governor had made a mistake that will undermine our elections, not improve them” by signing the legislation into law.

“This bill threatens the freedom to vote for thousands of Arizonans, and represents nothing less than a direct attack on the core principles of our democracy,” said Stacey Abrams, the founder of Fair Fight Action, in a statement to media decrying the legislation as “anti-voter” and “yet another installment in Republican attacks on voting rights.”

The Arizona legislation is just one of the hundreds of bills Republicans have proposed at the state level to restrict access to voting across the country. In several states, including Georgia and now Arizona, attempts to suppress the vote have already become law.

Restrictive voting laws disproportionately block eligible voters who are Black, Latinx or low-income from casting a ballot.

Democratic lawmakers have attempted to expand access to the vote — namely, through H.R. 1, the landmark voting rights bill the U.S. House passed earlier this year that just advanced in the Senate on Tuesday despite Republican opposition. The federal legislation would broadly override Republicans’ voter restriction efforts at the state level, including by mandating that states offer no-excuse absentee voting and same-day registration.

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