Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law on Tuesday that would remove individuals from a list of voters who automatically receive mail-in ballots if they fail to vote in the primary and general elections for two consecutive election cycles.
Arizona voters can opt-in to automatically receive mail-in ballots for every election. The list of the voters who automatically receive mail-in ballots was previously referred to as the Permanent Early Voting List, and this bill changed the name to Active Early Voting List. Seventy-five percent of Arizona voters are on this list.
Under the new law, if an individual does not vote in two consecutive elections, they will be notified via a postcard that they will be removed from the list. If the voter does not respond within 90 days and opt-in to remain on the list, the voter will be removed from the list.
The Senate passed the controversial bill strictly across party lines by a 16-14 margin.
Republicans support the bill because they say it will ensure the list is accurate. Ducey advocated for the bill, stating that it, “is a measure that ensures our voter lists remain verified and accurate, will free up resources for local election officials, and strengthen trust among citizens in our election system.”
Democrats assert that mail-in voting is the most popular means of voting in Arizona, and the GOP is using the bill to cut down on mail-in voting. Democrats further argue that the bill will disenfranchise individuals who expect to receive a ballot in the mail and that the bill will disproportionally impact people of color. Arizona Senate Democrats said that the bill will “purge over 12,000 eligible Arizona voters from the Permanent Early Voting List.”