GOP Senators Revive Bill To Purge Arizona's Permanent Early Voting List

By Ben Giles
Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 8:19am
Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 11:19am

A bill to remove Arizonans from the state’s permanent early voting list was resurrected in a Senate committee and now appears to have enough support to clear the chamber.

This, a week after the bill was defeated on the Senate floor.

Sen. Paul Boyer (R-Glendale) and Senate Democrats had voted against Senate Bill 1069, which would purge voters from the early ballot mailing list if they don’t use their mailed ballot at least once in a primary and general election in two consecutive election cycles. The bill would effectively end the “permanent” aspect of the Permanent Early Voting List, better known as PEVL.

Paul Boyer
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Paul Boyer in 2019.

Boyer’s vote against the bill, combined with Democrats’ opposition, left it one vote shy of the 16 needed to pass in the Senate.

Now the bill is getting a second chance, and Boyer says he’ll support it.

The sponsor of SB 1069, Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, revived the measure on Tuesday afternoon through an amendment to SB 1485 in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The idea has enjoyed broad support among Republican senators, so it easily cleared a committee with a Republican majority.

Michelle Ugenti-Rita
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Michelle Ugenti-Rita in 2020.

As for Boyer, the senator chalked up his initial opposition to a misunderstanding. He thought the bill required voters to cast their early ballot in four consecutive elections — both the primary and general elections in two consecutive election cycles  — in order to maintain their status on the early voting list.

In order to remain on the mail ballot list, a voter would only have to use their ballot in any one of those four elections.

SB 1485, the new version of the bill, must next clear the Senate Rules Committee before it gets a second chance at passage on the Senate floor.

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