State House Moves Ahead With 2 Voter Registration Bills
By Terri Jo Neff |
Two bills designed to tweak Arizona’s voter registration laws had third readings in the House on Tuesday, resulting in party line votes of 31 to 28.
House Bill 2237 stipulates that a department, division, agency, or political subdivision of Arizona—or any person acting on behalf of one—may not register a person to vote on an election day and then deem that person eligible to vote in the same election. Doing so would be a Class 6 felony which carries a presumptive one-year prison sentence.
Under current law, someone seeking to register to vote must meet several criteria, such as being U.S. resident, being a resident of Arizona for 29 days before the election, and being at least 18 years of ago on or before the next election following registration.
There is also a deadline in Arizona for registering to vote – 29 days before the election.
However, some people are allowed to cast a provisional ballot on Election Day. The provisional ballot includes information for registering the person to vote going forward if it is determined the person is not already registered.
Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-LD12) introduced by HB2237 to ensure the information included with the provisional ballot is not used to register the voter until after election day. Otherwise, Arizona’s 29-day registration deadline could be circumvented.
A second bill introduced by Hoffman, HB2243 would add a simple advisory statement to all new voter registration forms. The advisory informs the person registering to vote that if they permanently move to another state after being registered in Arizona, then their Arizona voter registration will be cancelled.
Supporters of HB2243 say it will help keep Arizona’s voter database up-to-date. In addition, it would reduce the opportunity for fraud if the moved voter was on the early balloting list or lives in a community with vote-by-mail elections.
Hoffman had 11 co-sponsors on each of the two bills.