Senate panel approves changes to elections system

May 15, 2013

Changes could be coming to several areas of election law in Arizona. The elections omnibus bill includes a series of proposals that have already been debated this year. Among them, one that would allow a voter to designate someone to return their early ballot for them, but that would make it a felony for political committees to collect them and turn them in.

Tolleson Democrat Anna Tovar said the bill has problems.

"This does not help an individual to vote. This actually impairs it," Tovar said.

The bill would also allow county recorders to send notices to people on the early voting list, but who have not voted in either of the previous two primary or general elections. Voters who do not return the notices would be removed from the list, and the measure makes changes to the initiative and referendum process.

Peoria Republican Rick Murphy supports it.

"While I agree with the thought that we don’t want to put undue burdens in front of people who are eligible and lawfully able to register and vote, we need to balance that by not making it so easy to vote that people who are not eligible can easily get on the rolls to vote," Murphy said.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill Wednesday, on a 6-3 party-line vote. As of Wednesday afternoon, the bill does not appear on calendars for further Senate debate.

Updated 5/15/2013 at 4:01 p.m.

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