WASHINGTON, D.C. — On April 25, the Arizona Legislature sent House Bill 2119, a law that eases the rights restoration process for those convicted of felonies, to Gov. Doug Ducey (R). H.B. 2119 allows individuals who completed their sentences for felony convictions — but who are not eligible for automatic restoration (namely, individuals who are not first-time offenders) — to apply immediately for discretionary voting rights restoration. Under current law, these individuals must wait two years after they have been discharged before applying.
H.B. 2119 also streamlines the application process for those who do not qualify for automatic restoration. Finally, H.B. 2119 contains several new provisions around notification of rights — for instance, the sentencing judge must inform the defendant how and when they can regain their voting rights, and the judge must include this information in the court order given to the individual at discharge.
While Arizona’s felony disenfranchisement law remains highly restrictive, this law makes small tweaks to ease the process. The Republican-sponsored bill now awaits Ducey’s signature.