PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizonans will have even more time to register to vote. A federal judge issued a ruling on Monday that extends voter registration for the November general election to Oct. 23 at 5 p.m.
Mi Familia Vota and the Arizona Coalition for Change filed the lawsuit on Sept. 30, claiming the original Oct. 5 voter registration would violate their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The two nonprofits wanted to extend the voter registration to Oct. 27. However, with early ballots going out on Oct. 23, the judge, Steven P. Logan, decided that day would have to be the deadline.
The two plaintiffs argued that because of the coronavirus pandemic, they couldn't help register as many voters as they usually would. Also, the lack of internet access made it harder for potential voters to register. Logan noted in the court documents that 31 other states had later voter deadlines than Arizona.
The defendant, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, said the Oct. 5 deadline was necessary to enforce the state's 29-day residency rule. But Logan said that argument was "unpersuasive," since voters need to have proof of residency at the polls.
Hobbs indicated she will not appeal the court order extending voter registration deadline to Oct. 23.
Hobbs said that, “Arizonans deserve a quick resolution to this matter. Providing clarity is more important than pursuing this litigation.”
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs will not appeal recent court order extending voter registration deadline to Oct. 23. She urges Arizonans to update or register as soon as possible, as a further court ruling remains possible. See statement below. pic.twitter.com/r5kiBEOKM6— Secretary Katie Hobbs (@SecretaryHobbs) October 6, 2020
"This is a huge victory for democracy," says Flavio Bravo of Mi Familia Vota. "With this court-ordered relief, thousands of more voters will be able to register to vote in the midst of this pandemic and will be able to participate in the November 2020 election."
"This ruling is a vindication of the fundamental right to vote," says Reginald Bolding of the Arizona Coalition for Change in a statement. "Court intervention here was necessary to address the impact of the pandemic on voter registration. Thanks to this ruling, many more voters will have their voices heard in this election."