A hearing on a bill repealing a sweeping 2013 election law that galvanized voter’s rights groups, Democrats, some conservative Republicans and third-party candidates was cancelled Thursday. But the delay is expected to be short as majority Republicans agree the repeal is needed. The bill was held in the House Judiciary Committee in part to ensure its language matches other repeal bills being readied, but it will be back on the agenda next Thursday. Once the bills match up, quick passage by each chamber could send them to Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk for action in just weeks, Senate President Andy Biggs said. “We’re just looking for certainty, as soon as possible,” Biggs said. The repeal of last year’s House Bill 2305 is designed to head off a voter referendum set for November’s ballot. The election-overhaul law was cobbled together from several GOP bills on the last day of last year’s Legislative session and passed without a single Democratic vote by the Republican majority.
The law was chock-full of changes to the state’s elections law, and many of its provisions drew major opposition from voter rights groups. Among other things, the law trimmed Arizona’s permanent early voting list by cutting non-active voters and limiting who may return mail-in ballots, making it a crime for voter-outreach groups to return ballots. It also greatly increased the number of signatures third-party candidates must gather to appear on the ballot, infuriating Libertarians, and contained a host of other changes.
Referendum supporters oppose the repeal, calling it a thinly disguised effort to avoid the election and allow Republicans to re-enact its provisions piecemeal.
Full Article: Hearing on bill repealing new election law delayed.