Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and other officials shall not “take any action to implement or enforce H.B. 2243 in a manner that would remove any voter’s eligibility to vote in the 2022 general election or disqualify any otherwise-valid ballot on the basis of H.B. 2243,” U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, a Clinton appointee, said in the Sept. 8 order.
Bolton accepted a joint agreement and proposed order outlined by the Arizona Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander for Equity Coalition and state officials, including Hobbs and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, presented to the court earlier on Sept. 8.
The officials and the coalition, which sued over the legislation in August, agreed that “the provisions of H.B. 2243 should not operate in a manner that would prevent any voter from (1) voting in the upcoming November 2022 general election or (2) having their vote be counted.” Hobbs and Brnovich also decided that the changes to the state election code shouldn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2023, because one of the laws that the legislation is amending isn’t effective itself until then.
“While we are pleased with this early agreement that protects the right to vote in the next election, we remain steadfast in our commitment to continue to fight both of these voter suppression laws for the long term,” May Tiwamangkala, an official with the coalition, said in a statement. “We are in this fight to protect the rights of all voters in our state, including those from the AANHPI communities.”
The offices of Hobbs, a Democrat who’s running for Arizona governor, and Brnovich, a Republican who lost in the state’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate, didn’t respond to requests for comment.
“Democrats have stooped to a new level of shamefulness and depravity with their latest round of lies about Arizona’s common sense laws to ensure that our elections are accessible, secure, and trustworthy,” state Rep. Jake Hoffman, a Republican who sponsored the legislation, told The Epoch Times in an email.
“Democrats’ cries of racism are laughable on their face and serve only to shine a spotlight on the Democrat Party’s long history of institutionalized racism and repeated attempts to disenfranchise millions of Americans throughout the last century and a half. Make no mistake about it, ensuring clean voter rolls and protecting the sanctity of Arizonans’ votes by prohibiting non-citizens and non-residents from casting illegal ballots benefits every single legal voter regardless of race, gender, income, and party.”
The legislation amends a law concerning voter registration. It states that the registration will be canceled for a voter who moves to another state.
“What this does is adds a statement to the voter registration form that simply says, ‘I as a voter that [is] choosing to register, if I move permanently out of state, yes, you have the ability to follow the existing law and remove me from the rolls,’” Hoffman said earlier this year.
The equity coalition in its lawsuit said the legislation was “designed and serves to suppress voters of color and naturalized voters” by allegedly chilling voters from registering to vote.
The agreement approved by the judge doesn’t admit any validity to the claims.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with a comment from state Rep. Hoffman.