Arizona voters’ rights groups and the Arizona Secretary of State reached a settlement agreement on Monday that will link voter registration systems to the Department of Transportation systems.
Katie Hobbs, who assumed office as Secretary of State on Wednesday, settled the dispute between her office and several voting rights groups including The League of Women Voters of Arizona, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and Promise Arizona, that claimed that the Arizona Secretary of States office was in noncompliance with the National Voter Registration Act’s “Motor Voter” law, which “requires states to provide individuals with the opportunity to vote at the same time that they apply for a driver’s license or seek to renew a driver’s license.” The voters’ rights groups filed suit in August 2018.
The settlement states that voter registration systems will be linked to the Department of Transportation’s systems with “all transactions for the purpose of changing an address on a Motor Vehicle Driver’s License shall serve to update the Customer’s voter registration record or register the Customer to vote” unless the customer affirmatively opts-out.
The settlement states that these systems should be implemented by January 31, 2020. If the systems are not able to be updated by January 31, the Arizona Department of Transportation and Secretary of State’s office will “promptly” complete the work to comply with the settlement after the Arizona primary elections on March 17, 2020.
The settlement agreement requires the Secretary of State’s office to provide drafts and updates to the voters’ rights groups. The voters’ rights groups retained the right to seek remedy from the court to enforce the agreement if it is not implemented. Additionally, the settlement requires that the Department of Transportation and Secretary of State’s office collect data regularly, which includes the number of completed voter registration files, the total number of address changes and the number of customers who affirmatively opt-out of the program.
The Secretary of State’s office says that some work has already been completed. The program is expected to be completed by the end of this month with any delays or changes to be communicated.