PHOENIX (AP) - A House Committee has passed a measure that would block voter-outreach groups from collecting and dropping off early ballots as the state prepares for the 2016 election season.
Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita of Scottsdale sponsored the proposal making it a felony for anyone but a family member, roommate, caregiver, postal worker or candidate to collect early ballots from another person in an act sometimes called "ballot harvesting."
The House Elections Committee chaired by Ugenti-Rita passed House Bill 2023 along party lines in a 4-2 vote.
The outcome of the legislation could impact the state's general and primary elections if the bill is signed into law and enacted before elections take place.
Opponents say the measure criminalizes efforts to encourage voting and limits the participation of low-income and minority voters.