WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, Aug. 15, a lawsuit was filed by voting rights organizations challenging Arizona’s new voter suppression law, Senate Bill 1260. The law, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) in June and slated to take effect in late September, requires county recorders to cancel a voter’s registration if they receive confirmation that the voter is registered to vote in another Arizona county (“cancellation provision”), creates a process to remove voters from the state’s permanent vote-by-mail list if the voter is registered in another county (“removal provision”) and makes it a felony to forward a mail-in ballot to a voter who may be registered in another state (“felony provision”). The lawsuit filed today by the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, Voto Latino and Priorities USA challenges these provisions of S.B. 1260 for imposing “severe restrictions” on Arizonans and burdening their right to vote.
Through its cancellation and removal provisions, S.B. 1260 creates a process for county recorders to cancel registrations of voters and remove them from the vote-by-mail list if the recorder believes the voter has moved — even though the recorders are not obligated to notify voters that their registration is at risk or ask voters to confirm that they have moved. The plaintiffs also highlight the fact that these provisions open the door for third parties to provide “credible” information someone has moved in support of canceling their registration. Finally, S.B. 1260’s felony provision criminalizes forwarding mail-in ballots to those registered in another state, even if the voter is properly registered and only intends to vote in Arizona, allegedly making it more difficult for eligible Arizonans to cast their ballots. The lawsuit argues that these provisions should be permanently blocked because, in total, they violate the First Amendment’s rights to free speech and association and the First and 14th Amendments’ protections against undue burdens on the right to vote.