A ballot measure to overturn a Republican-backed state bill that made sweeping changes to Arizona election law was certified this week as having more than enough valid signatures, but on Friday opponents vowed to challenge those signatures in court. The effort to block the measure is the latest round in a growing fight in Arizona that revolves around voter participation and allegations of fraud. Democrats contend that the Republican-led Legislature passed the measure in June as part of a bigger movement to make it more difficult for minorities to vote and third-party candidates to run in the state. Republicans said the law was needed to curb voter fraud and streamline the voting system. Opponents of the law quickly got to work on qualifying a measure for the ballot in the next general election. On Tuesday, Arizona officials announced that the measure had the necessary signatures required for the 2014 ballot.
Fanning the flames, however, was an Oct. 8 announcement by Arizona Atty. Gen. Tom Horne that two separate voter rolls would be created for future elections — one listing people who could vote in all elections, and the other with those who could vote only in federal races. Both sides expect that order to be challenged in court as well.
Horne and other officials said the new system would help prevent voter fraud. Voting rights activists said it was a political ploy to stop immigrants and minorities from voting.