UPDATE: On May 23, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed House Bill 2237 into law.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — After GOP lawmakers introduced a handful of radical, restrictive voting laws this legislative session, the Arizona Legislature agreed upon three election bills that make relatively minor changes on May 17. The bills await the signature of Gov. Doug Ducey (R).
Even though Arizona does not have same-day voter registration, House Bill 2237 prohibits this practice and makes violations by state administrators a felony. “If we had the votes to pass same-day voter registration, we’d have the same votes to just overturn this law as well,” said state Sen. Martin Quezada (D). “So, this bill literally does nothing. And all it is a platform for us to further espouse the Big Lie.” H.B. 2237 passed on a party-line vote, with all Republicans voting for and all Democrats against.
In contrast, the other two bills, Senate Bill 1008 and Senate Bill 1329, gained bipartisan support. S.B. 1008 changes the threshold to automatically trigger a recount at the county level. If an election count is within 0.5%, a recount will occur (in contrast to the current trigger at 0.1%). Democrats claim that this law is a reasonable way to build confidence in election results while avoiding the sham “audits” of the past year, but others worry about the increased costs of numerous recounts. Meanwhile, S.B. 1329 permits county elections officials to count early ballots on Election Day and post these results online along with the unofficial total.