Senator Kelly Townsends Moves to Clean Voter Rolls and Restore Credibility Within Arizona Elections
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senator Kelly Townsends Moves to Clean Voter Rolls
and Restore Credibility Within Arizona Elections
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— In an effort to prevent convicted felons from continuing to vote in Arizona and to restore election integrity, SB 1477 (voter registration; felonies; clerk; database) sponsored by Senator Kelly Townsend (R-16), was signed into law this week by Governor Doug Ducey.
This bill will require a clerk of the superior court to send a monthly record of felony convictions to the Secretary of State. That information will then be passed to the appropriate county recorder so that convicted felons will then be canceled from the statewide voter registration database.
An investigation conducted by local media back in November 2021 revealed dozens of felons were being directed by a "community leader" in Phoenix to register to vote, despite the fact that these offenders would have been further breaking the law and could be sent back to prison. This prompted Senator Townsend to take action and come up with a solution that now will require communication between the courts, the Secretary of State and county recorders so that voter rolls can be proactively purged of convicted felons.
According to current Arizona state law, a person convicted of a felony may not be registered to vote and must remain ineligible until the person receives full restoration of their civil rights.
"There is this misconception that only lawfully eligible people are voting within the state of Arizona, and we've seen plenty of evidence that this has not been the case, especially most recently during the 2020 election," said Senator Townsend. "We have a lot of work to do when it comes to cleaning up our voter rolls, and I believe this is a step in the right direction. I'm thankful that this loophole within our system was brought to light, and that we've been able to pass commonsense legislation that forces us to use the tools that we already have to strengthen the security of our elections. Our vote is the most sacred action we can take as an American citizen, and I will continue to fight to ensure only legal votes are counted."
This legislation will take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus