In the new Republican assault on voting rights nationally, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill that could exclude tens of thousands of voters from lists to collect mail-in ballots.
S.B. 1485 was approved by Arizona lawmakers on Tuesday, and the Republican governor quickly signed it into law. The bill would exclude people who have not voted by mail in the previous two election cycles or four years from the state’s Permanent Early Voting List, ensuring they would no longer be automatically sent a mail-in ballot.
The bill, according to the governor, is about “election integrity.” According to the voting rights organization Fair Fight Action, it could exclude over 125,000 voters from the state’s list of eligible voters for mail-in ballots, including 30,000 Latinx voters.
Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who oversees elections, called the bill “unnecessary” and “discriminatory” to voters, and said the governor had made “a mistake that would weaken, not boost” elections by signing it 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 bill is one of hundreds of measures introduced at the state level by Republicans to limit voting rights around the country. Attempts to restrict the vote have already become law in many states, including Georgia and now Arizona.
Democratic politicians have attempted to extend voting rights, most notably through H.R. 1, a landmark voting rights bill passed by the US House earlier this year and recently advanced in the Senate against 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.