By Dillon Rosenblatt | Arizona Capitol Times
In an October surprise, a federal judge extended Arizona’s voter registration deadline from Oct. 5 to Oct. 23.
The news came with mere hours of today’s original deadline for Arizonans to register or update their registration. The court’s ruling gives Arizonans another 18 days to register.
Progressive groups Mi Familia Vota and Arizona Coalition for Change sued Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, in a last-ditch effort to postpone Arizona’s Oct. 5 voter registration deadline, citing difficulties registering voters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This indeed came as a surprise. The ruling was issued just hours before the registration deadline, as the counties and the whole state of Arizona began planning to receive and start counting ballots. The judge cited the Covid crisis as the reason why some people have not yet been registered to vote and not extending the deadline would be a violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
The judge wrote that “31 other states have later voter deadlines than Arizona, many of which allow voters to register when they show up to vote on Election Day.” The RNC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) have filed appeals, arguing that an extension of the deadline would be an extreme burden for election officials and create confusion for the public. Arizona is already under the national spotlight for how it conducts its election, this pivotal court case will create more attention for the state.”– Thomas Galvin, Rose Law Group Regulatory Attorney