TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Republicans are calling it a win for election security and democrats say it’s voter suppression. Governor Doug Ducey signed SB 1485 into law this week, and it could have big impacts for people that vote by mail.
With the signing of a new law, the permanent early voting list is no longer permanent.
Voters who fail to vote early in at least one primary or general election over four years will get a notice, and if they don’t respond they won’t get their mail-in ballot.
“Not having access to voting, easy access to voting, which to me is a form of voter suppression,” said Pima County Democratic Party Chair Bonnie Heidler.
While Heidler calls it voter suppression, the Pima County Republican Party Chair calls it election security.
“If people aren’t voting, why would we even send them an early ballot? Why do we have voter ballots going out by mail? When we may in fact have fraud, so this is about mitigating risk,” said Shelley Kais.
Pima County Recorder Gabriella Cázares-Kelly says she has been against the passage of SB-1485 from the beginning saying it fixes a problem that doesn’t exist.
“There are no credible instances of voter fraud resulting from early voting and vote by mail. It is a secure system that has served Arizonans for the last 20 years.”
One thing Cázares-Kelly wants people to know is that if you do get kicked off the list for early voting, you are still a registered voter. You can still request an early ballot or vote in person.
“If you have been removed from the list you can still request a one-time ballot, or you can request to be put back on the early voting list by visiting servicearizona.com and re-registering.”
Chairperson Bonnie Heidler says the law is a continuation of conspiracy theories surrounding the recent presidential election.
“We’re rehashing, re-counting, re-doing, trying to find bamboo somewhere,” said Heidler.
Republican Chairperson Shelley Kais compares the law to good business practices.
“What are you afraid of? It’s just that simple what are you afraid of? Every business and industry keeps very good track of their data,” said Kais.
The effect of the new law will not be felt until after the next presidential election. Notices will start going out in 2025.