Opinion: There’s a reason civil rights advocates call two companion bills in the Arizona Legislature the ‘Voter Privacy Violation Act.’
By Alex Gulotta and Jenny Guzman/opinion contributors || The Arizona Republic
The right to privately and securely cast a ballot, a pillar of voting rights, has stood the test of time as Arizona’s democracy has faced increasing attacks in recent years. The Arizona Constitution affirms “secrecy in voting shall be preserved,” but Senate Bill 1324 and House Bill 2560 put this at risk.
The companion bills, dubbed the “Voter Privacy Violation Act” by civil rights advocates, would make Arizona an extreme outlier by posting detailed voter data and unfiltered ballot images online during the critical post-election leading up to certification of the results.
Lawmakers and Gov. Katie Hobbs must reject these assaults on our democracy.
Bills would post voters’ names, addresses
Transparency into our election process is essential to guarantee free and fair elections, but sponsors of the Voter Privacy Violation Act used the false pretense of it to introduce the legislation.
In actuality, the act creates a threatening voting environment by posting voters’ names, addresses, birth years and all ballot images online.
It then connects that information to voters’ specific precincts before certification, when it could be used to identify individual voters and to manufacture election falsehoods.
Arizona already has data sharing policies that balance transparency in the election process with protecting voters and election workers.
Arizonans should be alarmed that lawmakers are increasingly supporting legislation that would unravel our electoral process. And now, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes has joined them by supporting these mirror bills.