Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoes 3 election bills, including early voting list restriction

Apr 6, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:45 pm

Maricopa County recorder Stephen Richer opens mail-in ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and...

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

(File Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed three election-related bills on Thursday, including one that would have changed eligibility requirements for the Active Early Voting List.

HB2415 would have removed voters from the AEVL if they fail to cast a ballot for a single election cycle, cutting the timeframe in half.

Arizona voters who opt into the AEVL automatically receive early ballots by mail for every election. The list used to be permanent, but a law signed by former Gov. Doug Ducey in 2021 requires the removal of voters who are inactive through two election cycles. Each cycle is a two-year period.

“Arizona’s Active Early Voting List is secure and convenient for voters,” Hobbs, a Democrat, said in her veto letter. “I stand ready to sign bills that make voting more accessible, accurate and secure. This bill accomplishes none of these goals.”

Hobbs also vetoed HB2322, which sought to regulate signature verification for early ballots, and SB1074, which addressed tabulation equipment.

Majority Republicans passed two of the vetoed election bills with party-line votes, but the signature verification bill picked up 16 Democratic votes in the House.

“Right now, Arizona has no laws setting any signature verification rules for early ballots, which help ensure that only lawful early voter’s vote. What ground could be more common making her own rules the law?” Rep. Alexander Kolodin, who sponsored HB2322, said in a statement.

“Instead, her veto letter for HB 2322, for which 16 Democratic House members voted, indicates that instead of legally enforceable rules, she would like ‘ongoing’ signature verification ‘guidance’ that is non-binding and can be changed on a whim by a single person. That is hardly democratic – or sober and responsible governance.”

Hobbs took action on 13 pieces of legislation in all on Thursday, vetoing eight and signing five.

She has now vetoed 37 bills and signed 27 during her first session as governor.

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoes 3 election bills, including early voting list restriction