Hobbs Signs Bipartisan Election Integrity Bill

February 14, 2024

By Daniel Stefanski |

A bipartisan effort to pass election reforms in Arizona succeeded last week.

After many failed times of attempting to approve election reform measures in Arizona under a divided government since the start of 2023, the Republican-led legislature and Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs came to an agreement on a crucial package. Late last week, the state house and senate passed HB 2785, and then the governor signed the legislation.

According to an overview provided by the Arizona House of Representatives, the bill is “an emergency measure that modifies certain procedures and deadlines related to the conduct of elections.” The significant provisions of the legislation, per the press release from the Arizona House, are as follows:

  • Robust legally binding signature verification standards in law for first time in Arizona.
  • Puts political parties on an equal playing field when curing ballots.
  • Promotes greater use of ID when voting early.
  • Ensures that Arizona’s overseas military will be able to vote, and Arizona’s electors will be delivered on time.

With the bipartisan agreement, Arizona’s primary election date will be moved up to July 30.

“Politics is the art of the possible, and when Republicans stick together, we can achieve the impossible, like getting Katie Hobbs to sign real election reforms into law,” said Representative Alexander Kolodin, sponsor of HB 2785. “Arizona’s voters can rest assured that the 2024 election will be more secure, free, and fair than those that have gone before.”

The Senate Elections Committee Chair, Senator Wendy Rogers, added, “”This legislation is a major win for Arizona voters and important in restoring voter confidence in election Integrity. After months of painstaking discussions among lawmakers, election experts, administrators, county officials, and the executive branch, I’m proud we were able to craft a commonsense solution that all 15 Arizona counties support. It will ensure our service members abroad will have their votes counted on election day, and moreover, it will enable us to accurately determine the winner sooner rather than later.”

Governor Hobbs also struck a triumphant tone in her statement when she signed the bill, saying, “With this bill, we are making sure every eligible Arizonan can have their voice heard at the ballot box. We protected voters’ rights, we kept the partisan priorities out, and we demonstrated to the country that democracy in our state is strong. Thank you to Republicans and Democrats in the legislature who put partisan politics aside to deliver this important victory for the people of Arizona.”

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, also a Democrat, chimed in with his support of the package. Fontes said, “I am pleased to see Arizona’s bipartisan effort to pass House Bill 2785, keeping on-time ballot delivery for military and overseas voters and securing the state’s electoral votes for the 2024 presidential election. This legislation received overwhelming support across party lines and demonstrates Arizona’s commitment to fair and secure elections.”

The bill passed the state house with a 56-2 vote (with two vacant seats), and the senate with a 24-2 vote (with four members not voting).

Ironically, the consensus on these election reforms between legislative Republicans and statewide Democrats comes as both parties prepare to wage a legal fight in the courts over the Elections Procedures Manual that was produced by Secretary Fontes and greenlighted by Governor Hobbs and Attorney General Kris Mayes.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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