Early voting bills have some early opponents

April 16, 2013

Some groups involved with getting minorities to the polls are unhappy with legislation working its way through the Legislature. Right now, you can sign up on a permanent early voting list, meaning a ballot will be mailed to you in advance of every election.

But Senator Michele Reagan wants to limit mailed ballots to two elections in a row, unless you send back a postcard.

A second change would limit who could return the ballot of someone else. Monica Sandschafer of One Arizona says that would interfere with efforts to get minorities to vote.

“It’s pretty paternalistic to tell a voter that, you know, if you trust a volunteer that’s working with an organization to take your ballot and take it in for you, that you don’t get to make that choice,” Sandschafer said.

Reagan says voters could still have friends hand-deliver their ballots. She's concerned about ballots being mass-delivered by outside groups, which she contends does not happen in other states.

The two measures have been approved in the Senate and could come up this week on the House floor.

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