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New Arizona law aims to prevent felons from voting

Posted at 8:28 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 23:29:29-04

A new Arizona law aims to clean up the process for striking people from the voter rolls after a felony conviction.

The change comes after an ABC15 investigation last November, which exposed loopholes in Arizona state law that allowed some felons to illegally register to vote.

State Sen. Kelly Townsend was the sponsor of SB1477. Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill into law Monday.

Once the law takes effect, county court clerks must send out monthly reports with the names of all newly convicted felons, along with their dates of birth, addresses, and social security numbers. Those records will be used by the Arizona Secretary of State’s office and county recorders to cancel felons’ voter registrations.

“We have a lot of work to do on our voter rolls, and this is just one of the areas and this will help that happen,” Townsend said in an interview with ABC15 in April.

“The clerks have no issue; the recorders have no issue,” said Jen Marson, executive director of the Arizona Association of Counties, while voicing support for SB1477 at a hearing in February.

The ABC15 Investigators exposed problems with election laws in November, after several former felons explained to Investigator Melissa Blasius how they illegally got registered to vote. They claimed a community leader, whom they trusted to help restore her civil rights, skipped steps, and they said they were unfamiliar with how to properly restore their rights in the court system prior to registering to vote.

RELATED: Dozens of Arizona felons were illegally registered to vote

The governor also signed HB2119 into law last month which clarifies and simplifies the process for felons to restore their civil rights after completing their sentences.