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Lawsuit: Up To 4 Arizona Counties Have More Registered Voters Than Eligible Citizens

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As many as four Arizona counties have more registered voters on their rolls than eligible citizens as the state fails to conduct voter list maintenance in compliance with federal law, a lawsuit filed by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club alleges.

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club, along with Arizona GOP Chair Gina Swoboda and Steven Gaynor, a registered voter, allege in a suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona that Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes has failed to comply with Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The NVRA requires that states conduct list maintenance to remove ineligible voters.

Fontes told the state legislature that a federally-required list maintenance program is “in development,” according to the suit. Fontes’ comment, plaintiffs allege, indicates “that the general maintenance program required of states by the NVRA does not currently exist in Arizona.”

[READ NEXT: Court Affirms Arizona’s Need To Keep Noncitizens Off Voter Rolls, But Makes It Harder To Do So]

Because of the state’s failure, according to the suit, as many as four counties — Apache, La Paz, Navajo, and Santa Cruz — have more registered voters than eligible citizens. The plaintiffs compared the total number of registrants on each county’s voter rolls to the Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, and concluded that Apache County had a 117 percent registration rate, while Santa Cruz County had a registration rate of more than 111 percent. La Paz and Navajo Counties both exceeded the 100 percent mark when comparing the number of registrants with the Census Bureau’s 5-year American Community Survey from 2017-2021.

The suit also alleges that all counties in the state but one have “implausibly high …registration rates that far exceed the national and statewide voter-registration rates in recent years.”

In total, the suit alleges that the state has at least 500,000 registered voters on their rolls who are ineligible due to a change of residence or death.

“In looking at Arizona deaths compared to voter file removals, from December 2020 to the end of November 2022, there were approximately 20,000 to 35,000 registered voters who died and were not removed from Arizona’s voter rolls,” the suit alleges.

The suit asks the federal court to find that Fontes violated the NVRA and compel him to remove ineligible voters in accordance with the NVRA.

“Election integrity is a serious issue in our nation,” President of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club Scot Mussi said in a statement. “Ensuring that Arizonans can have faith in the integrity of our election system and representative government starts with clean voter rolls that leave no doubts about who is able to cast a ballot.”

“Unfortunately, most Arizona counties continue to have voter registration rates far exceeding the national average,” Mussi continued. “We hope that the court compels Secretary Fontes to comply with his obligations under the NVRA to clean up Arizona’s voter rolls.”


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