WASHINGTON, D.C. — As of Wednesday, March 22, over 30 restrictive voting bills have passed one chamber of the Arizona Legislature. To move forward, the bills must pass the other chamber in the Republican-controlled Legislature. However, Republicans have a slim majority in both chambers and will be unable to override any potential veto from Gov. Katie Hobbs (D), making it unlikely that the most egregious of these bills will become law.
Nonetheless, the voting restrictions pushed forward this session exemplify the priorities of Arizona’s lawmakers. The election bills that have passed one chamber include:
- Senate Bill 1074, which would effectively ban electronic ballot tabulators. The bill imposes numerous restrictions, including requiring 100% of the components of a machine to be manufactured in the United States. According to the executive director of the Arizona Association of Counties, that type of equipment does not currently exist.
- Senate Bill 1092, which would penalize the State Bar of Arizona and the Arizona Supreme Court if they discipline attorneys for bringing baseless election contests or false voter fraud claims. The bill would not allow these entities to “infringe or impede the political speech rights of any attorney.”
- Senate Bill 1135, which would require the state to withdraw from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a nonprofit organization that allows states to share information to help maintain accurate voter rolls. Since January, six GOP-controlled states have announced plans to leave the agreement. According to Votebeat’s Jen Fifield, Arizona enrolled in ERIC by a vote of county recorders, making any future exit unlikely.
- Senate Bill 1170, which would ban unmonitored drop boxes.
- Senate Bill 1595, which would move the deadline to drop off a mail-in ballot from 7 p.m. on Election Day to 7 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day. If deposited anytime after 7 p.m. on that Friday, S.B. 1595 would require a voter to present identification and sign the poll book before depositing.
- Senate Bill 1695, which would require election reruns if a certain number of voters were “disenfranchised.” The amended version of the bill would prohibit election officials from canvassing election results if voters waited for more than 90 minutes to vote, an election official “fail[ed] to comply” with election procedures or the ballot chain of custody is “not maintained.” To delay the canvass, a sufficient number of voters (1,000 for counties with over one million registered voters and 250 for counties with less than one million registered voters) must submit affidavits that allege the issues above. This bill would give more fodder to election conspiracists who have tried to overturn election results on the basis of technical issues like those that occurred in Phoenix’s Maricopa County in 2022. (S.B. 1695 was given preliminary approval on a voice vote and has not officially passed the Senate yet.)
- House Bill 2308, which would require the secretary of state to recuse themselves from overseeing elections in which they are a candidate. For example, if this bill were in place during the 2022 midterm elections, then-Secretary of State Hobbs would have had to recuse herself from overseeing all elections in Arizona since she was running for governor.
- House Bill 2415, which would remove voters from Arizona’s permanent mail-in voting list if they fail to vote in just one election cycle. Currently, election officials automatically send mail-in ballots to voters on the permanent list before each election, however voters are removed from the list if they fail to vote in two consecutive election cycles.
- House Bill 2477, which would “affirm the importance of the electoral college for presidential elections in this country.” This declaration stands in contrast to the 15 states and Washington, D.C. who have signed onto an interstate compact to ensure that the winner of the national popular vote becomes president.