Requiring Arizonans to have their signatures notarized to get on the permanent early ballot list or to receive early ballots would help prevent voter fraud, a state lawmaker contends. “When you go into the polls, you show your ID,” said Rep. Carl Seel, R-Phoenix. “Every time you go into the polls, you show your ID. Well, if you’re going to vote by mail you’re not walking into the poll, so shouldn’t you have the same safeguards in place?” Seel said that the increase in people voting by mail prompted him to introduce HB 2350. “My bill is really almost a clean-up; that is, it stays consistent with that belief that anyone who votes truly should be authorized to vote,” he said.
Seel’s bill was scheduled for a hearing Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee, but he withdrew it after hearing concerns from Secretary of State Ken Bennett and county election officials.
An investigation last year by News21, a national reporting consortium made up of 11 universities and hosted at Arizona State University, found that voter fraud is rare across the country. In Arizona, seven cases of alleged election fraud had reached a courtroom since 2000. Four of those cases involved people accused of voting twice.
In September, Bennett cited nine new cases of suspected voter fraud. Most of them involved people voting in more than one state.
In an interview, Bennett said he opposes Seel’s bill.
“We are very concerned and do not support requiring citizens who already told the counties that they want to receive their ballot by mail, to require those voters to now have to go back and re-establish that request and get it notarized,” Bennett said.