The Arizona House passed a repeal of a 2013 election law, which aimed to trim the permanent early voting list, as well as make it a crime for voter-outreach groups to turn in ballots.
Democrats said they want to keep the law because an initiative to repeal it is on the November ballot, with more than 140,000 people signed the petitions necessary to put the repeal in front of voters. And Democrats said voters should have their say.
Democratic Rep. Chad Campbell of Phoenix said he is worried that majority Republicans will simply put the law back on the books in small pieces.
“There may be an effort down here to put some piecemeal bills together to try to construct a kind of Frankensteinian version of HB 2305 and allow it to rumble through the village called the state of Arizona," he said.
To prevent that possibility, Democrats sponsored an amendment putting the initiative on the ballot if any piece of the law were to pass this year after repeal. Republicans easily turned that idea away.
Some members of the GOP, however, are worried about a piecemeal attempt to put the law back on the books this year.
Republican Rep. Ethan Orr of Tucson said, “I will fight any component pieces of 2305 that come through in this session.”
Orr was the swing vote in the committee earlier this session, and would not vote to pass it until he was given assurances some members would not try to re-pass the law this year.
Democrats and supporters of the ballot initiative say they don’t trust the Republicans. The repeal still must clear the Senate and Gov. Jan Brewer.