ARIZONA -- a flippable state
Get Out the Vote in Arizona
Voter Suppression Efforts in Arizona
• Arizona: Supporters of six ballot initiatives have filed a lawsuit asking Arizona's conservative-majority Supreme Court to temporarily allow the electronic gathering of petition signatures needed to put these measures on the ballot ahead of the state's July 2 deadline. They argue that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made it all but impossible to responsibly and safely continue gathering signatures in-person. They say that the state could readily expand online gathering instead by using the existing online system that candidates for elected office already use.
Supporters of two other initiative efforts, including one to expand voting access and implement other election reforms, have filed a similar lawsuit in federal court. The proposed voting rights measure would establish automatic voter registration through the state's Motor Vehicle Division, same-day voter registration, and in-person polling places on Native American tribal lands. It would also expand early voting, allow audits of election results, impose ethics and lobbying restrictions, lower the private campaign contribution limits, and significantly expand Arizona's existing public financing system.
Arizona is by no means the only state dealing with the pandemic's fallout for pro-democracy ballot initiatives. The crisis is complicating efforts to put similar voting access expansions on the November ballot in Missouri and Ohio.
• Arizona: Arizona's Republican-run legislature went into recess last week without considering a proposal by Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to allow the state to conduct its Aug. 4 downballot primaries or the November general election by mail. Lawmakers are set to reconvene on April 13.
• Arizona: Republican state Attorney General Mark Brnovich has asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay its recent ruling on absentee ballot collection and out-of-precinct voting while Republicans appeal to the Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit recently struck down a GOP-backed law that restricted who could turn in another person's absentee mail ballot and prevented votes from counting if a voter showed up at the wrong polling place but in the right county, with the court ruling that the law intentionally discriminated against Native American, Latino, and black voters.
Arizona: Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has settled a lawsuit that will make it much easier for Arizonans to keep their registration up-to-date. The agreement provides that the state Department of Transportation will automatically update a voter's registration when they update their address during driver's license transactions. Voting advocates had previously filed a lawsuit arguing that Hobbs' GOP predecessor was violating federal law by refusing to update these registrations, but Hobbs' 2018 election win paved the way for this settlement.
• Arizona: Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and state Attorney General Mark Brnovich have overridden a policy change implemented by Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, removing Hobbs' language from the state Elections Procedures Manual that had directed election officials to give voters who don't sign their absentee mail ballots several days to "cure" the problem after Election Day.
This change undermines a legal settlement between Hobbs' office and the Navajo Nation, which had sued in 2018 to ensure its members—and voters statewide—would have the chance to fix problems with a missing signature. As a result, the Navajo Nation is threatening further litigation.