The year has begun with fresh legal challenges to early voting laws. In Arizona, the Arizona Republican Party has filed suit challenging the validity of a decades-old law allowing no-excuse absentee ballots.
The suit, filed in the Arizona Supreme Court in February, seeks to strike down the vote-by-mail system that was first adopted in the state in 1991. The Arizona lawsuit follows on the heels of a Republican-led lawsuit in Pennsylvania, in which a Pennsylvania court struck down the state’s mail-in voting law as contrary to that state’s constitution. The Pennsylvania court said that voters would need to amend the state’s constitution to authorize no-excuse mail-in voting. That decision is being appealed. The Arizona lawsuit, which is currently pending, also contends that the use of drop boxes for early ballots is illegal, and seeks to stop the practice.
In Arizona, recent laws have made it harder to vote early, including making it illegal to bring a person’s early ballot to the polls unless it’s by a family member or caretaker (to limit so-called ballot harvesting), and allowing counties to stop sending early ballots to people who do not regularly use them. These restrictions were adopted despite Arizona voters’ overwhelming preference for early-voting methods.
Other early voting proposals being considered in Arizona by the Legislature include requiring early voters to provide their date of birth and information from a government-issued document, such as a Social Security card or Arizona driver’s license. Last year, the Arizona Legislature sent nearly 500 bills to the governor for signature, and 445 bills were signed. The legislative session begins in January of each year, and usually adjourns sometime in May or June.
Disclaimer: Laws change constantly. Specific legal advice should be obtained regarding any legal matter. The information contained on this website does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created.
Donald A. Loose is an Arizona attorney, and the author of Arizona Laws 101: A Handbook for Non-Lawyers, and Estate Planning in Arizona: What You Need to Know. Mr. Loose is a regular guest on radio shows featuring local newsmaker interviews. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.