Proposal that would mandate ID for mail-in ballots sinks in State House

The Arizona State House narrowly voted down SB 1713 on Wednesday, a bill that would require voters that cast their ballot by mail to show some form of official identification in order for their vote to be counted. The bill would require voters to receive a new voter registration card once every two years as well as provide their driver’s license number or voter registration number, with additional information such as date of birth or address with their mail-in ballot. 

The bill, sponsored by State Senators Mesnard (R) and Ugenti-Rita (R) only received support from the right side of the aisle, while the opposition was able to add two Republican “no” votes from Representatives Michelle Udall and Joel John. 

Voter identification has been a volatile issue between Democrats and Republicans on a national level and has been discussed quite frequently following the 2020 election cycle. This defeat for a voter identification bill came a few months after Georgia passed an elections bill which made voter identification requirements stricter in the state.

A video from the debate on this bill went viral on Twitter, receiving critique from personalities like Lakers player Lebron James. James used social media to bring national attention to the debate over the bill, while Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell and other business leaders voiced their disapproval of the bill from Arizona. 

Consensus on voting requirements

Democrats opposing the bill painted it as an attempt at voter suppression, while Arizona Republicans championed it as a proposal which furthered the integrity of Arizona elections. 

But how do the American people feel about voter identification laws? 

According to 538, a polling and data analytics firm, over 50% of the general population support showing some form of identification in order to vote. 

Debates regarding integrity and ballot access continue.

Michael O’Connor is the chief political correspondent for the Western Tribune.

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