Some groups are threatening to sue if lawmakers adopt new restrictions on early voting and who can take someone else’s ballot to the polls, claiming the measures target minorities. John Loredo said Monday that the two measures, likely up for a House vote this week, violate the federal Voting Rights Act. That law precludes states from altering any voting laws in a way that puts new restrictions in the path of minority voting. And Monica Sandschafer, of One Arizona, said the two bills are no accident. “This is a direct response to the Latino vote,” she said at a Monday press conference at the Capitol.
But Sen. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale, the sponsor of both measures, said they are a legitimate response to real problems.
And Secretary of State Ken Bennett, the state’s chief election officer, said charges of partisan or political motives ring hollow. He pointed out the changes are supported by all 15 county recorders, eight of whom are Democrats.
Two measures are at issue.
Existing law allows individuals to sign up for a “permanent early voter list.” That means they automatically get their ballots in the mail ahead of each election.
They can choose to mail them back, drop them directly at the polls or give them to someone else to drop off on Election Day.
SB 1261 proposes someone on the permanent early voter list who does not cast an early ballot two election cycles in a row will no longer get an early ballot unless he or she mails back a card requesting continuation.
And SB 1003 would limit who can take someone else’s ballot to the polls. Anyone else handling the ballot would be guilty of a crime.
Full Article: Arizona measures on early voting, ballot delivery opposed.