What To Make Of The Confusing And (Mostly) Incorrect Federal Court Ruling On Arizona’s Proof Of Citizenship Election Law

What To Make Of The Confusing And (Mostly) Incorrect Federal Court Ruling On Arizona’s Proof Of Citizenship Election Law

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

It is no secret that an overwhelming number of Americans believe that only U.S. citizens should be allowed to vote in our elections. It arguably is and ought to be the first and primary qualification to vote. But what good is that requirement if it isn’t verified? In other words, without proof of citizenship, we are relying on a simple stroke of a pen or pencil on a registration form, checking a small box attesting to citizenship.

That’s why in 2004 Arizona voters approved a measure to require proof of citizenship before registering to vote. But, in the 20 years since, that requirement has been whittled away and now there are tens of thousands of people voting in Arizona elections (often referred to as “Federal only” voters) without ever having provided evidence of their citizenship.

In response to this explosion of ‘Federal Only’ voters, the Arizona legislature passed two landmark bills, HB2492 and HB2243, to require proof of citizenship and regular, enhanced voter roll maintenance to ensure only eligible individuals are registering and voting in our elections.

What happened next shouldn’t surprise anyone that has watched the left fight every reasonable voter integrity measure around the country. As soon as both bills were signed into law, a dozen liberal organizations and the Biden Justice Department sued in federal court, claiming that the measures were unconstitutional, illegal, and (of course) racist.

The case was given to Bill Clinton appointed judge Susan Bolton, and after a year of litigation, she issued a confusing, disjointed two-part ruling that is destined for appeal. And while a few positives can be gleaned from the decision, the bad and ugly from the liberal opinion far outweighed the good…

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The Far-Left Has No Case Against Voter Registration Laws, So Now They’re Crying Racism

The Far-Left Has No Case Against Voter Registration Laws, So Now They’re Crying Racism

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

When all else fails, cry racism. That seems to be the playbook the Far-Left utilizes any time it can’t make a coherent argument against election integrity laws. And here we are once again. The latest accusations of racism come amidst a series of depositions along with closing arguments in a lawsuit filed by a cabal of liberal organizations against two commonsense voter registration laws: HB 2243 and HB 2492.

Passed in 2022 and signed by then-Governor Ducey, HB 2243 ensures that only eligible voters remain registered by requiring regular voter roll maintenance. And so far, it has proven to be effective—revealing that over 78,000 individuals have been identified on Arizona’s voter rolls as either noncitizens or nonresidents. When you consider how close some of our state’s races were in 2022, these numbers should be great cause for alarm. But of course, many of those close races went in favor of Democrats, so the Left doesn’t want to ask too many questions.

HB 2492, which was also passed in 2022 and signed by then-Governor Ducey, bolsters safeguards to our voter registration process to require proof of citizenship ensuring that only U.S. citizens are voting in our elections. Where’s the controversy here? U.S. citizens cannot go into France, Australia, or any other country throughout the world and vote in their elections, so why should citizens from other countries be allowed to vote in our elections?

Not too long after both bills were signed into law, the Left filed a lawsuit against them and recently made a part of the proceedings about…the Arizona Free Enterprise Club (who is not a party in the lawsuit)…

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Arizona’s Voter Rolls Need A Massive Clean Up

Arizona’s Voter Rolls Need A Massive Clean Up

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

We’re less than a year away from our next election, and if Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes is serious about doing his job, his primary focus should be on ensuring a process where it is easy to vote and hard to cheat. Instead, Fontes has been attempting to implement an Elections Procedures Manual (EPM) that is ripe with unlawful provisions all while ignoring a giant (and growing) elephant in the room.

In its last two quarterly reports to the Arizona state legislature, the Secretary of State’s office reported that over 78,000 individuals have been identified on our state’s voter rolls as noncitizens or nonresidents. This number includes:

  • Over 53,200 individuals who were reported to have been issued a driver’s license or the equivalent of an Arizona nonoperating license ID in another state.
  • Over 1,300 individuals who admitted to not being a U.S. citizen on a jury questionnaire.
  • Over 23,600 individuals who admitted to not being a resident of a county on a jury questionnaire.

These numbers should be great cause for alarm—especially when you consider how close some of our state’s races were in 2022—and these individuals should be immediately removed from our state’s voter rolls. So, what did Fontes do in response to this news?

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New Election Integrity Laws Will Provide Cleaner Voter Rolls

New Election Integrity Laws Will Provide Cleaner Voter Rolls

By Terri Jo Neff |

Two election integrity bills sponsored by Sen. JD Mesnard were signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey this week in an effort to ensure consistency among the state’s 15 counties and more quickly remove ineligible voters from the rolls.

Senate Bill 1260 amends Arizona’s election law to require the state’s 15 county recorders to cancel someone’s voter registration upon confirmation that the person has registered to vote in another county. This will include removing the voter from the Active Early Voting used to mail ballots to voters signed up to received them in advance of election day.

SB1260 also makes it a Class 6 felony for any person to “knowingly” assist someone to vote in Arizona if the voter is registered in another state. This allows criminal charges to be filed is if someone forwards an Arizona early ballot to a voter at an address other than what is listed on the early ballot packet.

The legislation takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns for the session, so the provisions could be in place before the 2022 General Election.

Meanwhile, Senate Bill 1362 adds a new statute describing the process for on-site tabulation of early ballots brought by voters to a polling place on Election Day.  Currently, those in-person “drop offs” might not be tabulated until the next day, a practice each county recorder or election director will now have the authority to set.

SB1362 also tweaks the criteria for when a county’s board of supervisors may reduce the number of polling places during an election. And it better defines the methods which election officials can use to reduce voter wait times at in-person polling places.

It too takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns for the session.

According to Mesnard (R-Chandler), the bills will help improve voter confidence in our elections.

“Democratic systems only work if our elections are secure and their integrity unmatched,” he said after the signing. “That means ensuring that each person has one vote and that their vote is properly counted.”

Cochise County Recorder David Stevens is one of the election officials across Arizona who closely followed Mesnard’s bills. He told Arizona Daily Independent his county already has a procedure for when a voter reportedly moves away, but there is a delay in dropping the voter until a notice to be mailed and a response received.

Under SB1260, the process will be sped up by not having to wait to hear back from the voter. This allows county recorders to cancel the voter’s registration upon official confirmation of new registration in another county. 

As to the section of SB1260 making it a crime to forward someone’s early ballot to another address, Stevens noted he is waiting to hear what the consequences will be, and whether the statute applies to U.S. Postal Service personnel involved in the forwarding process.

Stevens explained that some counties already offer election day tabulation of early ballots as described in SB1362. On-site tabulation provides a “a more complete election total” which Stevens calls “a good thing.”

He added that while the provisions of SB1362 will entail more work, it will be minimal. 

“In the long run, any attempt to have clean rolls is worth the work,” Stevens said.

Researchers Recommended Voter Roll Cleanup After Governor Ducey Vetoed Bill

Researchers Recommended Voter Roll Cleanup After Governor Ducey Vetoed Bill

By Corinne Murdock |

During a State Senate briefing on Tuesday, True the Vote — the election integrity nonprofit behind the research for election fraud documentary “2000 Mules” — recommended Arizona clean up its voter rolls. Just several days before, Governor Doug Ducey vetoed a bill purging non-citizens and non-Arizonans from voter rolls.

The election integrity researchers also proposed an end to the mass mailing of ballots and drop boxes, as well as an increase in penalties for voter fraud. If ending the use of all drop boxes wasn’t feasible, the researchers proposed real-time video surveillance. 

The bill vetoed by Ducey, HB2617, received support from House and Senate Republicans. It would’ve required the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to submit information to the secretary of state every month regarding driver’s license or non-operating licenses issued in other states. Within 10 days, the secretary of state would then submit that information to the relevant county recorders to purge their voter rolls. 

HB2617 would’ve also required the county recorder to compare their voter registration database to the Social Security Administration database on a monthly basis. Additionally, the secretary of state would’ve been required to report to the state legislature on a quarterly basis the death counts and voter registration cancellation notices issued to county recorders. Jury commissioners and managers would’ve been required to inform the secretary of state and their county recorder about individuals who indicated they weren’t U.S. citizens or living within the county. 

The House and Senate may override Ducey’s veto with a two-thirds vote.

Ducey’s spokesman, C.J. Karamargin, said that the bill sponsor, State Representative Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale), “knows” why Ducey vetoed the bill. Karamargin didn’t elaborate further. 

In an explanatory letter, Ducey shared a concern that the legislation lacked due process for voters whose eligibility may be challenged, and that bad actors would capitalize on that aspect of the bill. 

He criticized the bill’s implementation method as “vague” and lacking guidance for county recorders to execute properly. Ducey further criticized the residency determination provisions within the bill as subjective and lacking protections against false claims of non-residency. 

Ducey didn’t object to the bill in its entirety. He commended the provisions directing ADOT, the secretary of state, and county recorders to communicate on proof of out-of-state licenses, new addresses, and non-citizenship.

Arizona Free Enterprise Club Vice President Aimee Yentes disagreed with Ducey’s concerns that the bill lacked due process for voters and that it would empower bad actors. However, Yentes expressed hope that they could work with Chaplik to bring a modified version of the bill more palatable to Ducey. 

“This is a multi-pronged endeavor. You don’t fix all the numerous issues we have with election processes overnight or in just one session,” said Yentes.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.