The Republican-controlled Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill amending their state’s vote-by-mail process including removing voters from the state’s permanent early voting list. Voters removed from the list would no longer receive automatic mail-in ballots.

SB 1485 must be voted on by the Senate and approved by Arizona’s governor in order to become law. While the Republican-led Senate is expected to pass the bill, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has not indicated how he views the bill.

The bill says that if a voter does not participate in two election cycles, their name will be struck from the permanent voting list and no longer receive an automatic mail-in ballot. Voters due to be removed must be notified by mail 30 to 90 days before their name is removed.

“Most voters want to have an election system that they can count on,” state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Arizona) said at a news conference. “It isn’t about the outcome of it, it’s more about having confidence and faith in the outcome of an election.”


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Democrats, however, see the bill as more likely to disproportionately affect disabled, senior, rural and indigenous American voters in the state. “SB1485 is a voter suppression bill, plain and simple. If passed, it will deal a terrible blow to democracy and to Arizona’s reputation – especially coming as Arizona is making national headlines for the ridiculous election ‘audit’ being pursued by our state legislature,” said Emily Kirkland, who is executive director of Progress Arizona, an activist organization.

Several Arizona-based organizations have since signed a letter calling the bill “voter suppression.” Among the signers is the owner of the NFL team the Arizona Cardinals.

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