Arizona Election Integrity Bills
In an article published by the RNHA, election integrity bills were proposed in the state of Texas and across the country in several state legislatures to address ahead of the 2022 midterm and 2024 presidential election. In Arizona, two election security bills made their way to the Arizona State legislature to address the many election issues seen in 2020.
Arizona State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R) authored and introduced SB 1485 to address early voting lists and eligibility for early voting, which would begin by improving the information related to the requirements of a voter’s personal information, require routine updating of the precinct register lists of voters throughout each precinct, and the process by which to update the names of people on these register lists.
Following this process of updating the lists, the phrase Permanent Early Voting Lists (PEVLs) has been amended to reflect a system that seeks to keep early voting forms updated with the new title of Active Early Voting Lists (AEVLs) by re-confirming with these early voters, via postcard, if they wish to continue early voting, though if they wish to no longer vote early they still have the opportunity to become an AEVL again, meaning that SB 1485 will not be purging voter lists.
As of May 11, 2021, Arizona Governor Douglas Ducey (R) signed into law SB 1485. Governor Ducey’s letter of approval found that SB 1485 continues Arizona’s efforts of improving the election code to remain “a leader for inclusive, accessible, efficient, and secure election administration”.
Arizona State Senator Javan Mesnard (R) authored SB 1713 and State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R) co-sponsored it to address early ballots and what is the most appropriate identification for an individual with a ballot, as well as the most suitable way of handling a ballot in need of being mailed. Requirements established by the bill, meant to reform existing laws, include greater measures to ensure safer elections with the mandate that all early voters must utilize their unique license, voter registration number, and address with address-specific information.
Voters sending in mail-in ballots must submit them with a completed affidavit with a signature and identification, and delivered to a county office in a secure manner. This will ensure that all mail-in ballots are secured and not tampered with in transit to their destination. The Governor of Arizona and the Arizona State House are still working on the bill.
The effects of the 2020 elections remains a permeating concern throughout each state legislature, and Republicans across the nation are making efforts to correct the mistakes made just seven months ago in the hopes of preventing more elections in the future from having as much concern for their integrity as the most recent one. Election reform, meant to address malfeasances in election security, will require a state-by-state approach to be best tailored to a state’s residents, which makes Arizona just one of the many other states who are taking the appropriate steps to address early voting measures.