If Gov. Doug Ducey signs legislation headed to his desk, Arizona won’t see a repeat of a controversy that erupted last October after Secretary of State Michele Reagan set the last day for voter registration on a legal holiday. Reagan’s decision cost at least 2,000 citizens their vote in November and led to a federal lawsuit by state and national Democratic parties. A federal judge ruled the Democrats likely would have won but waited too long to file the lawsuit. Reagan refused to extend the Oct. 10 voter registration deadline even though it fell on Columbus Day. The Democrats noted there’s no mail service and state motor vehicle offices were closed that day and sued on Oct. 19.
Senate Bill 1307 by Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, passed the House unanimously Tuesday and previously passed the Senate with unanimous support. The bill adds an extra day if the registration deadline falls on a weekend or holiday.
“If the holiday eliminates a day to register, then it’s appropriate to err on the side of making it easier to vote by extending it one day,” Kavanagh said in an interview.