YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - A bill that would remove the "permanent" from permanent early voting is stirring controversy among Arizona Republicans and Democrats alike.
Currently, the Arizona Secretary of State's office, maintains a list of voters who receive a mail-in ballot without requesting one. This is the "permanent" early voting list.
SB1485 challenges the automatic nature of that list. The Senate bill seeks to prevent anyone who hasn't voted in at least two consecutive election cycles from automatically receiving an early, or mail-in, ballot.
Arizona State Representative Charlene Fernandez (D-Dist. 4), who represents Yuma County, says people shouldn't be removed simply because they didn't vote. Fernandez says voters have the right to choose if, when, and how they cast their ballots.
However, Arizona State Representative Tim Dunn (R-Dist. 13), who also represents Yuma, said the bill helps clean up the voting system. Dunn said the measure doesn't prevent a person from casting a ballot, it prevents the state from mailing a ballot to an inactive voter. He clarified further saying voters would have the option of remaining on the permanent list.
Dunn and Fernandez disagree on SB1069, but they agree some of the bills introduced in the wake of the November election, are destined to fail. They include a measure requiring the notarization of all mail-in ballots, and one mandating international election observers. Both measures died in committee.
Rep. Dunn admitted some of his Republican colleagues do want to make it harder to vote, but he said none are actually making it to Governor Doug Ducey's , (R-Ariz.) desk.
Ducey has actually signed two other measures into law. News 11's Crystal Jimenez tells you more about those bills, and examines how proposed legislation will affect your ability to vote Tuesday at 5 on the Early Edition.