Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a law today that limits the distribution of mail ballots using a popular early voting list.
According to the New York Times:
The legislation will remove voters from the state’s Permanent Early Voting List, which automatically sends some people ballots for each election, if they do not cast a ballot at least once every two years.
The vote-by-mail system is widely popular in Arizona, used by Republicans, Democrats and independents. The overwhelming majority of voters in the state cast their ballots by mail, with nearly 90 percent doing so last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, and nearly 75 percent of all voters are on the early voting list. Under the new law, the list will be called the Active Early Voting List.
The State Senate voted along party lines to approve the bill, and Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, surprised many observers by signing the legislation just hours later.
The bill may be only the first in a series of voting restrictions to be enacted in Arizona; another making its way through the Legislature would require voters on the early voting list to verify their signatures with an additional form of identification.
It’s estimated that 100,000 to 200,000 voters could get purged from the early voting list as a result of the new law. That will likely impact the state’s minority population the most, particularly the state’s Latinos.
Over the past decade, Arizona has transformed into a critical swing state. President Biden won the state in 2020, the first Democrat to do so since Bill Clinton. Democrats also hold both of the state’s Senate seats, which they have won in the past two election cycles.
As recently as 2018, both seats were Republican. But as suburban voters fled the GOP in recent years – and Trump essentially forced former senator Jeff Flake into retirement – Arizona has become a prime battleground.
However, Biden only won the state by 10,457. So if the estimate of voters being removed from the early voting list is even remotely accurate, it could easily prove decisive in upcoming elections.
As for the governor, you may recall that Trump pressured Ducey to refuse to certify Joe Biden as the state’s winner last year. At the time, Trump said that Ducey “betrayed the people of Arizona.”
Although Ducey ultimately did his job and certified the election results, his failure to veto this bill harms Arizona’s voters and undermines democracy at a time when his party continues to perpetuate the Big Lie and push voter suppression bills nationwide.
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr