Gov. Doug Ducey signs mail-in ballot signature bill amid protest over voting rights

A new voting law that aims to crack down on mail-in ballots without signatures has been signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey on Friday, May 7.

The law prohibits election officials from counting a ballot that is not properly signed by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. Prior to the law's passing, there was a five-day grace period to fix missing or inconsistent signatures.

"If you haven't properly executed, there isn't a responsibility on the Recorder's Office to track you down," said State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R). "The voter is responsible for signing the ballot. If that's too cumbersome, or a voter doesn't like that, I would suggest not voting by mail."

FOX 10 has reached out to the Maricopa County Recorder's Office on May 9 for a comment, but officials have yet to respond.

Democratic officials decry bill, rally for election reform

Democratic officials say this is one law in a long line of recent laws that members of the GOP are using to suppress the vote.

Meanwhile, an event was held in at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix on May 8 to combat election bills that some denounce as a form of voter suppression.

Events similar to the one held at the State Capitol were held in more than 130 different cities. Organizers and supporters are drumming support for bills known as the "For The People Act" and the "John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act." The measures would reduce gerrymandering, and change campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of cash on campaigns.

Organizers and supporters also targeted voter laws that disproportionately impact people of color.

"We are seeing in the legislature attacks on our democracy," said a person at the event. "That's why we are, right now, with community organizations, community members, talking about protecting our democracy."

Republicans say the measures are about voting security than voter suppression.

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