REFERENCE TITLE: early absentee voting; limitations; conflicts
State of Arizona
House of Representatives
First Regular Session
Representatives Harris: Heap, Jones, Smith
amending section 16-541, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to conduct of elections.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Section 16-541, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
16-541. Early absentee voting; conflict; severability
A. Any election called pursuant to the laws of this state shall provide for early absentee voting, including voting by the use of an accessible vote by United States mail option voting method for persons who are blind or have a visual impairment. Any NOTWITHSTANDING any other statute, only a qualified elector who meets one or more of the CRITERIA prescribed by this section may vote by early absentee ballot.
B. A qualified elector of a special district organized pursuant to title 48 shall be permitted to vote early in any special district mail ballot election as provided in article 8.1 of this chapter.
B. A qualified elector may vote by early absentee ballot only if one or more of the following apply:
1. The qualified elector is confined and physically unable to go to the polls, including an elector who is confined to the elector's home or a nursing home, hospital, jail or other facility due to the elector's illness, disability, age, infirmity, incarceration or any other reason.
2. The qualified elector expects to be absent from the elector's precinct at the time of holding the election, including electors covered by the uniformed and overseas citizens absentee voting act (P.L. 99-410; 52 United States Code section 20301).
3. The qualified elector is blind or has a visual impairment.
C. If a conflict exists between this section and federal law, federal law controls. Federal control is limited to the specific areas of conflict only, interpreted as narrowly as possible and seeking to preserve secrecy in voting to the greatest extent possible.
D. If any provision of this section or its application to any person or circumstance is declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this section that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. The invalidated provision or provisions shall be deemed reformed to the extent necessary to conform to applicable law and to give the maximum effect to the intent of this section and, to the fullest extent possible, the provisions of this section, including each portion of any subsection containing any invalidated provision that is not itself invalid, shall be construed so as to give effect to its intent.
Sec. 2. Conforming legislation
The legislative council staff shall prepare proposed legislation conforming the Arizona Revised Statutes to the provisions of this act for consideration in the fifty-sixth legislature, second regular session.