New Election Laws

Intense controversy surrounding the 2020 election has led to a number of changes in Arizona election law over the past two years. Many are designed to strengthen election integrity and ensure that only eligible U.S. citizens vote in Arizona. Some have been challenged in court with lawsuits pending. The new laws include:

  • Federal only voters (those that register to vote using a federal government registration form) must show proof of citizenship in order to cast a ballot in Arizona. County recorders must reject applications that do not include proof of citizenship (lawsuit pending)
  • Election officers are prohibited from providing an early ballot to anyone not requesting it, or not on the Active Early Voting List
  • Registering a person to vote on Election Day is prohibited
  • The Permanent Early Voting List changed to Active Early Voting List (AEVL) and requires contact with any voter on the list who hasn’t voted in four years (2021) (lawsuit pending)
  • County recorders must remove voters from the voting roles and/or AEVL when they have confirmation the voter is also registered in another county
  • The voter publicity pamphlet must include a notification that warns all voter-passed ballot measures cannot be changed or repealed by the state Legislature
  • Election officials must make a reasonable effort to contact voters who didn’t sign their ballot envelope
  • Private money is prohibited from being used to conduct or administer elections
  • Political subdivisions are prohibited from altering election-related deadlines
  • No political party affiliation is allowed to be visible on early ballot envelopes (2021)
  • Envelopes containing early ballots will inform residents to return to sender if the name doesn’t match anyone residing at the home (2021)
  • Arizona’s automatic election recount threshold is changed to one half of one percent
  • Election officials are required to tally mail-in ballots earlier, and post the preliminary numbers at 8:00 on Election Day (2021)
  • Voters may request to have their early ballot tabulated on sight when they drop it off on Election Day
  • There will be changes to the requirements for out of state campaign contributions for advertisements
  • The Secretary of State is required to compare death records and out of state voter registries to Arizona voting records annually
  • Voting equipment checks and reports have been updated
  • Voting machines and electronic pollbooks will be further secured during elections
  • Requirements will be in place to create consistency between the ballot initiative, referendum, and recall processes
  • A voting privacy folder will be offered at polling locations (2021)
  • Cities and towns will be allowed to train their own election employees with approval from the Secretary of State
  • There will be enhanced identification requirements for publicity pamphlet submissions for certain local elections

The laws passed in 2021 do apply to the August 2 Primary Election. This year’s laws go into effect September 24. So, although they won’t apply to the August 2 Primary Election, they will affect the November 8 General Election.


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