Opponents of two controversial Arizona elections bills made another appeal Monday to kill the legislation, threatening legal action if the measures become law. Latino advocacy groups released the results of an automated telephone survey that said 59 percent of surveyed voters opposed the concept of removing names from the state’s permanent early-voting list. Senate Bill 1261 would take a voter off the list if he or she fails to cast an early ballot for two consecutive federal election cycles and fail to respond to notification of their removal from the list. The bill also would forbid anyone from altering a voter’s registration form.
“The opposition is broad and it is deep,” said John Loredo, a former state lawmaker and a representative of Arizona Working Families, at a news conference.
The poll found almost equal opposition from Latinos and Whites, as well as among women and men. It found 33 percent of surveyed voters in favor of SB 1261 and 7 percent unsure.
The poll by Washington, D.C.-based Lake Research Partners, a political-strategy-research firm, was based on responses of 600 Arizonans who voted in last fall’s election. It was conducted April 7-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
SB 1261, as well as SB 1003, have drawn intense criticism. Latino groups, under the umbrella of ONE Arizona, feel the bills are an attempt to suppress their vote just as Latino-voter registration is increasing. Civic groups also object, saying elections officials should focus more on education, instead of narrowing the election rules.
SB 1003 would allow a voter to designate any person to return that voter’s ballot to the polls, but the voter must sign an affidavit saying he or she has given the person permission.