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Arizona Bill Would Restrict Payments for Registering Voters

The Arizona House has voted to make it a crime for people who conduct voter registration drives to be paid based on the number of voters they sign up.

Republicans approved the measure in a party-line vote on Monday saying it would prevent fraud.

The bill by Mesa Republican Rep. Kelly Townsend would also require people who collect voter registration forms to turn them in to elections officials within 10 days. Violations would be a misdemeanor.

Democrats say the measure is actually intended to suppress voter turnout. They say people will be reluctant to conduct voter registration drives if mistakes can lead to criminal charges.

Lawmakers last week rejected an earlier version of the bill that would have outlawed any compensation for voter registration, except for employees of political parties.

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