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Ducey signs bill that will stop inactive Arizona voters from automatically receiving early ballots

SB 1485 renames the "Permanent Early Voting List" to "Active Early Voting List" and changes how inactive voters will receive early ballots.
Credit: AP
Election workers sort ballots Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, at the Maricopa County Recorder's Office in Phoenix. Despite massive turnout for early voting, elections in Arizona are going pretty smoothly. By the following Tuesday, Maricopa County had processed more than 1.2 million ballots, surpassing the total number of early ballots cast in 2016. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1485 on Tuesday, which he said aims to protect election integrity in the state. 

According to the governor's office, SB 1485 renames the "Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL)" to "Active Early Voting List (AEVL)." Under the new law, if a voter on the AEVL actively votes by mail, they will continue to receive an early ballot. 

If a voter on the AEVL does not return at least one early ballot over the course of four years, which would include two consecutive primary elections and general elections, the voter will be sent a postcard asking if they still want to receive an early ballot. The county recorder may additionally reach the voter by telephone, text message, or email. 

If the voter does not respond, they won't automatically receive early ballots. However, they will remain a registered voter, they can still request an early ballot and they can also show up in person at polls on Election Day. 

Ducey said this law will ensure that Arizona voters can continue to receive an early ballot and free up resources for county recorders to use on priorities. 

"Let's be clear," Gov. Ducey said in a video posted to his Twitter account. "Despite all the deceptive and heated rhetoric being used by some partisan activists to lobby against this reform, not a single Arizona voter will lose their right to vote as a result of this new law."

Ducey also said in his video that he has been vocally proud of Arizona's election laws, but he believes this new law will be an improvement.

"Some have suggested that means I can never ever support any improvements (to Arizona election laws). That's ridiculous," Ducey said. "If prior leaders had taken that approach, none of the improvements to our election system over the last three decades would have been enacted."

Republican State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita led the legislation efforts for SB 1485.

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