Monday, February 25, 2013

Republicans green light plan to disenfranchise Arizona voters

Sen. Landrum Taylor

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Leader Leah Landrum Taylor, Senator Steve Gallardo and Senator Jack C. Jackson Jr. released the following statements on today’s passage of SB1003 and SB1261 by the Senate.
  • SB1003 places limitations on who can collect and drop off a voter’s early ballot, making it a felony to do so if you aren’t authorized with proper paperwork. Republicans passed a similar bill in 2011, which was repealed after the U.S. Department of Justice expressed concerns.
    Sen. Jackson
  • SB1261 allows elections officials to remove voters from the permanent early voting list (PEVL) if they didn’t vote in both of the two previous primary and general elections and do not opt back in to the list. Senator Michelle Reagan added an amendment to make this bill retroactive to the 2010 elections, meaning it will affect voters who don’t even know it. Someone who has been on the PEVL since 2010 but just now decides to vote will already have to opt back in.

Senate Democratic Leader Leah Landrum Taylor, D-27:
Sen. Gallardo
“The early voting program has given Arizonans across the state, including our minority populations, a greater voice in their representation. But current legislation working its way through the Legislature aims to make it much harder to vote using an early ballot,” said Sen. Landrum Taylor. “We agree that we must take steps to streamline how our votes are counted, but those steps cannot come at the expense of anyone’s ability to vote.”

Senator Jack C. Jackson Jr., D-7:
“Republicans want to make a felon out of someone helping their neighbors to vote, but many members of our tribal communities live in remote areas and depend on help to deliver their early ballots.” said Sen. Jackson. “SB1003 could have a devastating impact on their vote.”

Senator Steve Gallardo, D-29:
“Republicans are trying to roll back the clock on the early voter list by removing Arizona voters who have signed up in the last few years, many of whom are minority voters. By making SB1261 retroactive, they will immediately disenfranchise countless voters just in time for next year’s elections,” said Sen. Gallardo. “By advancing these bills, Republicans have shown that there is no maneuver too contemptible when it comes to protecting their power at the state capitol.”

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