WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Jan. 24, following a lawsuit, a majority of Arizona county recorders agreed that they will not purge voters under Arizona voter suppression laws House Bill 2492 and House Bill 2243. H.B. 2492 creates restrictive proof of citizenship requirements while H.B. 2243 requires county recorders to cancel a voter’s registration if they receive information that the voter is not qualified to vote or if the county officials have a “reason to believe” that a voter is not a U.S. citizen. Eight sets of plaintiffs filed lawsuits challenging the laws, arguing that they violate the First and 14th Amendments by severely burdening the right to vote and potentially disenfranchising Arizona voters.
Previously, an agreement between one set of plaintiffs and former Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) temporarily blocked H.B. 2243 for the 2022 election cycle. Now that the 2022 elections are over, H.B. 2243 is in effect while litigation continues (the other law, H.B. 2492, has remained in effect since it was enacted). In January, county recorders requested extensions to respond to discovery requests in the ongoing consolidated lawsuit. The court stated that counties could have extensions if they assured the court “that voter purges are not being implemented and will not be implemented until further direction is received from the Secretary of State.” As of Jan. 24, 2023, almost all of Arizona’s counties—13 out of 15 — submitted assurances that they have not and will not purge voters under H.B. 2492 and H.B. 2243 until the newly elected Democratic secretary of state issues further guidance on the laws.
By Jan. 24, 2023, a majority of Arizona county recorders submitted written assurances that stated that they have “not implemented and will not implement any voter purges pursuant to HB2492 and HB2243 until further instruction is received from the Secretary of State or clear legal direction is available, or upon further order of this Court.” The three counties that did not submit assurances will “provide full and complete responses to Plaintiff’s outstanding discovery” requests. While the lawsuit will continue, assurances from counties that they will not purge voters is a victory for Arizona voters who will not have to worry they will be purged from voter rolls as a result of these restrictive laws with arbitrary enforcement mechanisms.