PHOENIX – The Arizona Senate has voted to repeal a sweeping 2013 Arizona election law that included trimming the state's permanent early voting list and a host of other provisions that incensed voter-rights advocates.
Majority Republicans who pushed House Bill 2305 through last June voted Thursday to repeal the law 17-12. The House passed an identical bill last week. The bill will now go to the governor.
Republicans pushing the repeal say they are following the will of the voters and expressed worry that the many provisions in the bill could not be changed without a supermajority vote of the Legislature if it is repealed by voters. Democrats worry the provisions will be re-enacted.
Repealing the law will cancel the voter referendum.
The passage of the election law in the final hours of the 2013 session angered Democrats, some conservative Republicans and third-party candidates. They came together to collect more than 146,000 signatures to place the law on hold and put it on the November ballot.
Democrats argued that the GOP is thwarting the will of the voters and worry Republicans will simply re-enact its provisions piecemeal. Republicans in the House turned back a Democratic amendment Thursday that would have revived the voter referendum if any of the provisions were adopted by the current Legislature. Another Democratic amendment that would delay the repeal until after the election -- also designed to prevent re-enactment -- was rejected by the GOP lawmakers.
The Senate had a much shorter debate on Thursday than House members did when they repealed the law last week with a 33-26 party-line vote.
Democratic Minority Whip Steve Gallardo of Phoenix said he opposed the repeal because it would again ignore the wishes of the voters.
Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, said it was simply a petition, not a vote.