On Friday, the Supreme Court of Arizona invalidated a ballot proposal that, if accepted by voters, would have nullified key election-integrity measures imposed by the Republican-controlled senate.
The rejected ballot initiative, known as Proposition 210, would have repealed or significantly altered several of the election regulations recently established by the legislature in Arizona. The 26-page proposal “is extremely similar to the federal HR 1,” the newspaper The Tennessee Star highlighted, referring to the legislation previously offered by House Democrats that would have led to a federal seizure of elections.
Same-day voting registration, the abolition of “Arizona’s ballot harvesting ban,” and “voter registration with little verification, such as a pay stub,” were all on the list of proposed alterations to Arizona’s voting rules. The initiative also included provisions that would have made it more difficult to revoke the credentials of dormant voters, barred “electors who don’t select president selected by Arizona’s presidential election,” and repealed the 30-day residency requirement to vote.
🚨ALERT: Arizona Supreme Court rules in favor of conservative organization and disqualifies pro-voting ballot initiative from appearing on the state’s ballot this November.https://t.co/6rYxwbI7RY
— Democracy Docket (@DemocracyDocket) August 29, 2022
With the passage of a law in 2021, Arizona will be required to remove infrequent voters from the state’s Permanent Early Voting List, turning it into an ‘active’ early voting list. The Republican governor, Doug Ducey, enacted a bill earlier this year requiring citizens to present identification at the polls before casting a ballot in a federal election.
The latter has resulted in a lawsuit against Arizona being launched by the Biden Department of Justice, which calls the legislation an “unnecessary restriction” that “turns the clock back on progress” and “blocks qualified voters from the registration rolls for certain federal elections.”
The Associated Press (AP) reports that on Friday, the state’s highest court upheld a lower court ruling issued hours earlier, wherein Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Mikitish turned down thousands of petitions and said the action plan fell 1,458 signatures short of the 238,000 necessary to qualify for the ballot.
According to the AP’s report, “the judge reversed his own judgment from the previous day after being asked by the Supreme Court to explain how he judged that the initiative had enough legitimate signatures to qualify.” “When the judge upheld the measure the day before, [Chief Justice Robert] Brutinel had refused to accept it, saying [the] court was unable to determine exactly how Mikitish came to his determination that backers had collected enough valid signatures for the measure to appear on the ballot in November,” as quoted from an article about the case.
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, proponents of Proposition 210 have issued a number of bizarre statements, including the claim that “politicians have been purposefully trying to attack the ballot measure process for over a decade to prevent voters from being able to make decisions about Arizona’s future at the ballot box.”
They went on to say that today’s decision was a continuation of the attacks and was indicative of the administration’s “extreme MAGA agenda.”
There have been other states, not just Arizona, that have attempted to impose new laws by amending their constitutions in an effort to ensure fair elections. There are currently efforts underway in Michigan to have a proposal to change election law included on the ballot for the upcoming midterm election. If passed, this would allow voters the “right” to cast absentee ballots and increase the use of ballot drop boxes.