Civil rights groups sue Arizona election official over voter registrations

Civil rights groups sue Arizona election official over voter registrations
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Civil rights groups are suing Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R), alleging that she violated the National Voter Registration Act.

The coalition, which includes the League of Women Voters of Arizona, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and Promise Arizona, claim Reagan broke federal law by not automatically updating voters' registration when they file paperwork with the state Transportation Department to update the address on their driver's license, according to legal documents.

According to the groups, this could mean that voters who have told the state they are at a new address could still not have their votes properly counted. According to their legal filing, such votes will not be counted because “the change of address reported to [the Arizona Department of Transportation]. ADOT is reflected only in their driver’s record and not in their voter registration record.”

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The groups said they are suing Reagan to protect “thousands of Arizonans from the irreparable loss of their right to vote this November.” 

They say that Reagan was informed of the problem, along with the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona Department of Economic Security and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, in a letter from the civil rights groups in November.

The groups say they reached an agreement with those agencies to begin addressing the issue but that Reagan has not followed through. The suit claims Reagan has continued to operate in “a manner which she now knows is in violation” of federal voting laws.

They are asking the court to order Reagan to make county election officials count provisional ballots from voters who have asked the state to change their driver's license address.

They also want the court to order Reagan to send a notice to all voters who have sought to change their driver's license address that their voter registration address may be out of date and providing more information about voting.