Ducey signs bill to prohibit changes to election deadlines

A school crossing guard stops cars for voters entering a polling station, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Phoenix. /AP Photo/Matt York

By Evan Oscherwitz | Arizona Capitol Times  

Gov. Doug Ducey on May 24 signed into law a measure that prevents government officials from changing election deadlines established by statutes. 

HB2794, sponsored by Rep. Jake Hoffman, R-Gilbert, was created to address changes in voter registration deadlines that occurred during the November 2020 general election.  

“This is something that we saw in an unprecedented election,” Hoffman said. “We saw all across the country, including here in Arizona, the attempt to change statutorily prescribed deadlines. This is a bill that says that in Arizona, the legislature as granted by the Constitution of the United States, has the authority for the management and administration of elections; that those deadlines should not be changed, and that if they are there is a penalty for doing so.” 

Hoffman’s bill, which passed both the House and Senate by narrow margins of two and three votes respectively, received unanimous support from Republicans but was largely shunned by Democrats, who claimed that it violates separation of powers and gratuitously punishes election officials. Sen. Christine Marsh, D-Phoenix, was the only member of her party who did not vote against the bill, instead opting to refrain from voting altogether. 

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