March 3, 2024
Arizona faces a lawsuit from several groups over a new law which will make it a crime to help someone vote if they are already registered in a different state.

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A new lawsuit challenges an Arizona law that takes a firm stance against voter fraud by requiring that someone cancels their previous registration before registering in any county in the state.

Senate Bill 1260, which takes effect on September 24, also says that anyone who “knowingly provides a mechanism for voting to another person who is registered in another state” is guilty of a felony. The Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, Voto Latino, and progressive group Priorities USA sued, claiming that the law goes too far.

“People do not ordinarily think to affirmatively cancel their voter registration when they move, and there often is no obvious or easy way to do so,” says the complaint, filed August 15 in Arizona federal court. “Nor is there any assurance that a jurisdiction will actually cancel a voter’s registration immediately upon receiving a request.”

The law says that “those who tend to be more residentially transient, such as younger voters, poorer voters, and non-white voters” will be severely impacted by the law, as will “older voters who move to Arizona to retire.”

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By criminalizing actions that would enable them to vote, the lawsuit argues, the law “will make it harder for these voters to exercise their fundamental right to vote.” The plaintiff groups note that they “work to assist Arizonans in exercising their fundamental right to vote,” and thus their staff or volunteers could end up facing criminal charges.

The statute’s language indicates that it is geared toward those who intentionally help someone vote when they are aware that they are registered in a different state, as it gives an example of someone who forwards an early ballot addressed to another person. To further prevent such acts, the statute calls on people who receive ballots addressed to a previous occupant to write “not at this address” on the envelope and send it back. 

The lawsuit also challenges the bill’s provisions that call for canceling voter registration if the officials receive confirmation that a voter is already registered in a different county in Arizona. That voter would also have their name removed from the state’s early voting list.

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The lawsuit argues “that it is entirely lawful to be registered to vote in more than one location” and “that voters with multiple registrations may be intending to legally vote using only one of those registrations.”

The complaint alleges that the bill violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Representing the plaintiffs is the Elias Law Group, headed by attorney Marc Elias who formerly worked with the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

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“This bill must be struck down to preserve the voting rights of Arizona voters,” Aria Branch, a partner at the firm, said in a statement to the Washington Times.

Fox News reached out to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’s office for comment but they did not immediately respond.