WASHINGTON, D.C. — Arizona House Republicans have passed a bill that would entirely ban the use of voting centers as well as on-site early voting locations.
Currently, voters in 12 counties can vote at any voting center so long as it is located in their county. Under the Republican-backed legislation — which passed on Tuesday along party lines — groups of 1,000 or fewer registered voters would be limited to voting at one specific precinct voting location. The legislation would additionally bar county recorders from establishing on-site early voting locations.
Democrats have fought to “expose” the bill for its attack on voters. Rep. Laura Terech (D) pointed out the extreme burden the legislation would have on Arizona’s more densely populated counties like Maricopa and Pima, which are among the 12 of the 15 counties that take advantage of voting centers. The change would, for example, mandate 2,700 voting precincts in Maricopa and 625 in Pima. Maricopa currently utilizes around 220 vote centers, and poll workers are struggling to even staff those, according to Terech.
Arizona Republicans pushing the bill have claimed it would help ensure “election integrity” and make voting easier. Just yesterday, the conservative legal group America First Legal filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County for operating voting centers, alleging they are an “irrational substitute for election day precinct voting” that have a “disparate impact” on white citizens in a “racially discriminatory way.”
The bill now heads to the Arizona Senate for further consideration.