A proposed overhaul of Arizona’s early voting laws has been blasted by Latino youth who say the Republican-backed effort would suppress minority turnout just as more Hispanics are registering to vote. Students on spring break are expected to lobby lawmakers at the Arizona Legislature Thursday in opposition to two measures that would limit who gets to vote early and how mail ballots are returned to local election officials. Hispanics leaders, including Arizona Democratic lawmakers, said the election bills are aimed at silencing voters who tend to vote for Democrats. Republicans currently control Arizona’s state government. “We are not going away,” said Daria Ovide, a Phoenix-based voting activist. “We are going to be voting no matter what and we are going to remember who was helpful and who was not helpful.”
One proposed law would kick people off early voting lists if they didn’t use a mail ballot during the past two federal elections. It would be retroactive to include the 2010 elections. People would be notified of their pending removal and would need to return that notice within 30 days to continue receiving early ballots. It also would make it harder for political groups to submit early ballot requests from voters.
Voters removed from the early voting list would remain registered to vote. Local election officials support the measure because voters who are sent mail ballots and then show up at polling places wanting to vote can create confusion and delays.
The other measure would allow only designated people to return the early ballots. Latino groups regularly collected early ballots from voters’ homes and delivered them to elections officials in 2012.
Full Article: Latino youths protest Arizona election reform.