Photo: Maricopa County Elections Department
By Ray Stern, Kiera Riley | Arizona Republic
Gov. Doug Ducey signed two new, election-related bills on May 20 that will increase recounts in close races and track early ballots in an attempt to increase confidence in elections.
Both bills signed into law had bipartisan support. Two other bills are on his desk: One also got support from Democrats and would help enforce laws that prevent felons from voting; the other GOP-backed measure would ban same-day voter registration, which the state doesn’t have now.
So far, that makes three election-related bills total signed into law by Ducey and a fourth that is headed for the November ballot, where voters will decide its fate. Six total bills have passed the full Legislature.
But together, the small number of bills signed by the governor or passed by the House and Senate represents a failure of the ambitious goals of many Republican lawmakers to implement sweeping changes out of baseless concerns of massive fraud in the 2020 election.
Instead, several of the approved bills had support from Democrats, who described them as reasonable methods of ensuring fair elections.
Anything can still happen until the Legislature adjourns. But only four Senate bills and 13 House bills remain active out of more than 100 GOP-authored bills that took aim at the election system.
Of those 17 bills, only one — House Bill 2289 — contains the type of sweeping restrictions that voting advocates feared. It would make voting more difficult by taking away most forms of mail and early voting, and require voting and vote-counting to happen all on one day. But Senate President Karen Fann said the bill won’t get considered by the full Senate because it doesn’t have enough votes to pass. A previous version of the bill would have allowed the Legislature to overturn the results of elections.