Voting rights activists are expressing concerns over HB2397, which will be heard in committee Tuesday.
The bill would require the address on a voter’s registration to match their driver’s license and other state ID. Otherwise, the MVD would give them 30 days to correct the address before issuing a $25 fine or suspending the person’s license.
Joel Edman, the executive director of Arizona Advocacy Network, said this bill would severely impact college students and low-income Arizonans’ ability to vote, since they tend to move more frequently.
“This bill would really add to the existing barriers of fear that registering to vote could mean losing your driver's license, which, for a lot of people, means no longer being able to drive to school or to work,” Edman said.
When faced with the issue of address inconsistencies, Edman said other states have turned to automated systems instead of punitive measures.
“Instead, allow information to be automatically updated from one government agency to the other so the government isn't making a student or a single mom, for example, have to update their address in multiple different places every time they move,” Edman said.
Rep. Bob Thorpe (R-Flagstaff) is the primary sponsor of the bill, which will be heard in the committee he chairs on Tuesday.
He declined multiple interview requests.