PRESS RELEASES / March 2, 2021

Arizona State Senate Passes New Version of Vote by Mail Purge Bill as Part of Voter Suppression Blitz

March 2, 2021

Contact: Emily Kirkland,, 646 623 5271

Arizona State Senate Passes New Version of Vote by Mail Purge Bill as Part of Voter Suppression Blitz

Bill will take the “permanent” out of the “permanent early voting list”

SB1485, which will purge more than 100,000 Arizona voters from the state’s vote by mail list, has now passed the Arizona State Senate. State Senator Paul Boyer, who killed a previous version of the bill by serving as the lone Republican “no” vote, switched his position today and voted yes on SB1485. 

From here, the bill will go to the Arizona State House of Representatives. 

“This bill is part of a full-on assault on democracy by Republicans in the Arizona state legislature. Senator Boyer showed courage and integrity earlier in the session in joining with Senate Democrats to defend democratic norms and ideals. In switching his vote today, he caved shamefully to the most extreme elements of his own party. We now look to legislators in the Arizona State House to stop this dangerous and unnecessary bill,” said Emily Kirkland, executive director of Progress Arizona. 

Under SB1485, voters who fail to vote by mail in either the primary or the general election for two election cycles in a row will be removed from the “permanent” early voting list. Because independents cannot vote in primaries unless they specifically request the ballot of a particular party, independents will be disproportionately impacted by the bill. 

SB1485 is one of more than 40 voter suppression and anti-democracy proposals currently being considered by the Arizona state legislature, including bills to eliminate or restrict voting by mail, impede voter registration, gut the grassroots ballot initiative process, and criminalize protest.

Today’s vote came just days after a court ruled that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors must turn over all of Maricopa County’s 2020 general election ballots to the State Senate. Republicans in the State Senate have insisted on gaining access to the ballots to conduct their own audit of the 2020 election, despite multiple independent audits and court rulings concluding that there is absolutely no evidence of any irregularities. 


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