State House to Vote on Third-Party Ballot Drop-off Ban

Mar 27, 2015

The Arizona House is set to vote on a bill making it illegal for anyone except a family member or candidate to collect more than two early ballots from voters. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, some say the method increases voter turnout while others say it can increase voter fraud.

Credit Ryan Heinsius

Arizona is one of the few states in the country that currently has no limit on how many early ballots an individual can deliver to the county recorder. As a result, many elderly and members of minority communities often entrust their ballots to others to turn in. Matt Roberts is the communication director for the secretary of state’s office.

“The permanent early ballot system which provides early ballots to their homes was certainly designed with the U.S. Postal Service in mind. Any time a live ballot is in anyone else’s hands that’s a concern for elections officials,” Roberts says.

But Sam Wercisnski, the executive director of the Arizona Advocacy Network says, with post offices closing statewide early ballot voting is becoming more difficult.

“In 2014, there were nearly 3,000 ballots in four counties that arrived after election day through the mail system,” Wercinski says.

Under the legislation, ballots returned in bulk would still be processed. But the person dropping them off could be prosecuted for a felony.