Arizona’s Voter Rolls Need a Massive Clean Up thumbnail

Arizona’s Voter Rolls Need a Massive Clean Up

By Arizona Free Enterprise Club

Editors’ Note: The Prickly Pear published an article entitled Patriot Party Fails To Qualify For 2024 Ballot on 11/29. In the article below, AZ Secretary of State Adrian Fontes’ extreme partisan behavior favoring Democrat advantage in the 2024 election is again demonstrated. Mr. Fontes has a long history of partisan activities in his current office and formerly as Maricopa County Recorder, being rebuffed on several occasions by the Arizona Supreme Court. He has influenced Arizona and national elections repeatedly from 2018 to the present with extreme partisan bias in inappropriate and illegal ways in offices that are supposedly nonpartisan. The issues of voter roll cleanup and integrity are critical given the facts exposed below. Fontes’ response to the lawfully mandated management of voter rolls in Arizona is another example of his unethical and extreme partisan behavior, now in one of the highest and most important offices in our representative state government. Great credit goes to the Arizona Free Enterprise Club for exposing the egregious violations of his office intended to impact the 2024 election statewide and nationally.

We’re less than a year away from our next election, and if Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes is serious about doing his job, his primary focus should be on ensuring a process where it is easy to vote and hard to cheat. Instead, Fontes has been attempting to implement an Elections Procedures Manual (EPM) that is ripe with unlawful provisions all while ignoring a giant (and growing) elephant in the room.

In its last two quarterly reports to the Arizona state legislature, the Secretary of State’s office reported that over 78,000 individuals have been identified on our state’s voter rolls as noncitizens or nonresidents. This number includes:

  • Over 53,200 individuals who were reported to have been issued a driver’s license or the equivalent of an Arizona nonoperating license ID in another state.
  • Over 1,300 individuals who admitted to not being a U.S. citizen on a jury questionnaire.
  • Over 23,600 individuals who admitted to not being a resident of a county on a jury questionnaire.

These numbers should be great cause for alarm—especially when you consider how close some of our state’s races were in 2022—and these individuals should be immediately removed from our state’s voter rolls. So, what did Fontes do in response to this news? Nothing. That’s right. The Secretary of State’s office simply disclosed that a process for sending notices to these individuals, placing their voter registrations on inactive status, or canceling their voter registrations was “in development.”

How convenient.

But Fontes can’t hide for long. The fact is that these voter roll issues came to light because of two bills backed by the Free Enterprise Club and signed into law by then-Governor Ducey last year: HB 2492 and HB 2243. HB 2492 is a commonsense law that cracks down on state voter registration applications that do not include proof of citizenship. HB 2243 ensures regular voter list maintenance and helped uncover these most recent issues due to provisions in the bill that:

  • Require the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to furnish a list of people who have been issued a driver’s license in another state to the Secretary of State.
  • Direct the Secretary of State to report the number from ADOT (above) to the state legislature at the end of each quarter.
  • Direct the Secretary of State to report to the state legislature at the end of each quarter the number of people who have stated on a jury questionnaire that they are not U.S. citizens or not residents of the county.

With these provisions in mind, it’s clear that the number of noncitizens and nonresidents on our state’s voter rolls will continue to grow after each quarterly report is provided. That’s why it is essential to address these issues immediately. But the Left has proven time and time again that they will fight against every legitimate election reform that comes from conservatives. So, the Biden administration and a consortium of liberal organizations filed a lawsuit against HB 2492 and HB 2243. They are terrified of these commonsense laws and want to prevent them from taking effect by wrapping them up in litigation. It’s just another example of how the Left hates any form of true election integrity. And they will do whatever it takes to prevent it—including wasting time and your taxpayer dollars in court.

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This article was published by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club and is reproduced with permission.

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