Politics

Arizona voters reject measure to tighten mail-in voting requirements

Arizona voters have rejected a ballot measure that would have added requirements to cast a mail-in ballot, as well as change voter ID requirements for in-person voters.

Proposition 309 would have required voters submitting mail-in ballots to write their date of birth and voter ID number on the back of the return envelope, in addition to their signature and date, which are currently required by law. The measure would have also eliminated the option for in-person voters to present identifying documents as an alternative to photo ID at their polling station.

The reported that the proposition was defeated after new vote tallies from Maricopa County and other small counties were delivered Wednesday, putting Proposition 309 about 20,000 votes short of passing.

The results are outside the margin for an automatic recount under Arizona state law.

ARIZONA CERTIFICATION THREATENED BY A HAND-COUNTING BALLOT LAWSUIT

An election worker arrives with ballots to be tabulated inside the Maricopa County Recorders Office, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Phoenix.

An election worker arrives with ballots to be tabulated inside the Maricopa County Recorders Office, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Phoenix.
(WHD Photo/Matt York)

County recorder Stephen Richer opens mail-in ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Nov. 11, 2022, in Phoenix.

County recorder Stephen Richer opens mail-in ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Nov. 11, 2022, in Phoenix.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The defeat is a setback for Arizona Republicans, who had put the measure on the ballot as part of their larger campaign to tighten election laws after the contested 2020 presidential election. GOP state lawmakers and conservative groups had argued the current law’s signature requirements were insufficient to prevent fraud and new requirements were needed to restore voter confidence in election integrity.

Democrats and voting rights activists opposed the measure, arguing additional requirements would make it harder to vote, potentially compromise voters’ privacy, and were redundant.

HERE’S HOW A RECOUNT IN ARIZONA’S GUBERNATORIAL RACE MIGHT PLAY OUT

A voter displays their mail-in ballot envelope at an early voting location in Phoenix, Arizona, on Oct. 16, 2020.

A voter displays their mail-in ballot envelope at an early voting location in Phoenix, Arizona, on Oct. 16, 2020.
(Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

“Proposition 309 is an attempt to make participating in our elections more difficult by putting additional unnecessary roadblocks in the way for voters who are simply exercising their constitutional right to vote. It is yet another blatant attack on our election process and another attempt to disenfranchise voters,” said Marisol Garcia, president of the Arizona Education Association.

“Proposition 309 eliminates existing forms of identification from being used to vote, which will disproportionally impact our communities of color, young people, and people with disabilities. We should be ensuring Arizonans have their voices heard, not putting additional obstacles in the way, especially when it comes to voting,” she argued in the Arizona 2022 General Election Publicity Pamphlet provided to voters before Election Day.

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The pamphlet was issued by the Arizona secretary of state’s office and contained arguments for and against each of the 10 ballot measures put before voters.

 

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