PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday signed a bill repealing a
2013 elections overhaul by Republicans that left voter-rights groups incensed
and led to a petition drive that put the law on hold and referred it to voters.
The bill repealed a sweeping elections overhaul that Republicans passed in the
final hours of the 2013 legislative session, angering Democrats, some
conservative Republicans and third-party candidates. They came together to
collect more than 146,000 signatures to place the law on hold and put it on the
Repealing the law cancels the voter referendum.
Brewer issued no statement regarding her action.
Both houses of the legislature approved the bill along party lines earlier this
The 2013 election law was cobbled together from several GOP bills on the final
day of the legislative session last year and passed without a single Democratic
The measure trimmed Arizona’s permanent early voting list, removing infrequent
voters from a list of those allowed to vote by mail. It also made it a crime for
voter-outreach groups to turn in ballots, and made it harder for third-party
candidates and voter initiatives to get on the ballot.
Republicans who pushed the repeal said they are following the will of the
voters and expressed worry that the many provisions in the bill could not be
changed without a supermajority vote of the Legislature if it is repealed by
voters. Democrats argued there was no guarantee the provisions will be
The repeal and the subsequent canceling of the voter referendum angered
“The governor’s decision to sign HB 2196 is an insult to Arizona voters,”
said Rep. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix. “They wanted a chance to have their voices
heard on a law that created significant barriers to the voting process.