Arizona Voters Will Not Be Silenced Despite New Barriers

PHOENIX — All Voting is Local Arizona Campaign Manager Rosemary Avila issued the following statement in response to the end of the 2021 Arizona Legislative Session, during which lawmakers passed multiple anti-voter bills including SB1485, SB1003, HB2569, SB1819 and SB1823 

“As we plan for the next election and begin to experience the effects of new anti-voter laws, our votes and our voices will be more necessary than ever. Arizona voters will not be silenced. The Arizona Legislature’s rush to push through cruel election-related policies was designed not only to create deliberate barriers between voters and the ballot, but also to avoid public scrutiny of these measures. The real opportunity for change lies in how these bills are implemented.

“We, as voters and democracy advocates, must push forward and stay engaged in all aspects of the election process, from registration to ballot tabulation, and hold our election officials to account. And the U.S. Congress must pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to reduce the harm done throughout the country.” 

Background:
During the 2021 session, the Arizona Legislature passed three anti-voter bills, SB1485, SB1003, and HB2569 all signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey. In addition to bills passed using the normal processes, the majority used the secretive and undemocratic budget process to pass a slew of previously rejected provisions and other bad policy in SB1819 and  SB1823. SB1485 mandates that county election officials must remove voters from the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) if they don’t vote with an early ballot in both the primary and general elections for two consecutive election cycles for which there was a statewide, federal, or legislative race on the ballot. It will likely remove more than 100,000 voters from the vote-by-mail list. SB1003 prohibits voters from fixing missing signatures on their ballots, and contradicts a 2018 lawsuit settlement between the Navajo Nation, Secretary of State, and Apache, Coconino and Navajo counties, which determined that officials must notify voters of missing signatures and allow them up to five days after Election Day to fix their ballots. HB2569 bans election officials from accessing crucial grant funding for voter education and election administration. SB1819 is directly based on conspiracy theories; it takes power away from the secretary of state until 2022, creates a special committee to review any “findings” of the election review scam, requires county election officials to report all voter registration activities, requires ballot paper to be watermarked, and allows for outside groups like Cyber Ninjas and the attorney general to review voter rolls. SB1823 limits the secretary of state’s ability to resolve election-related lawsuits.