A federal judge has refused to order Secretary of State Michele Reagan to immediately update voter registration addresses of 384,000 Arizonans who moved since the last election. But the ruling leaves the door open to further court action to ensure that Reagan — or whoever succeeds her — finally brings the state into compliance with federal voting laws. Judge James Teilborg acknowledged Wednesday the system operated by the Motor Vehicle Division for address changes for driver’s licenses requires people to affirmatively “opt-in” to also having their voter information updated. And the judge did not dispute the National Voter Registration Act requires these forms to make registration changes automatic unless people opt out.
The result, according to the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, is that many people will show up at the wrong polling place on Election Day.
But Teilborg said it would cause chaos so soon before the November election to change all of those registrations. And he’s not convinced that leaving things as they are really will disenfranchise people.