Disenfranchisement in Arizona
Arizonans convicted of one felony have their voting rights automatically restored once they have completed the terms of their sentence, including probation and parole, and paid all restitution. People convicted of two or more felonies are permanently barred from voting unless they have their voting rights restored through a gubernatorial pardon or by a judge. As a result of Arizona’s policy, there are almost 200,000 Arizonans living in the community who cannot vote, the majority of whom are Black or Latino because of racial discrimination in the state’s criminal legal system.
In 2019, Gov. Ducey signed into law H.B. 2080, which eliminated the state’s requirement that residents convicted of a single felony offense pay all court-ordered fines before their voting rights were restored.
In 2005, the Brennan Center wrote a letter to the Arizona House of Representatives in support of a bill, H.B. 2490, which would have automatically restored voting rights for residents convicted of more than one felony once they had completed the terms of their sentence.
In 2009, the Brennan Center filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in Coronado v. Napolitano, a case brought by the ACLU that challenged Arizona’s disenfranchisement policy under the state and federal constitutions.
Brennan Center Publications
- Restoring the Right to Vote, Erika Wood (2009)
- The Brennan Center’s policy proposal for restoring voting rights for citizens with past criminal convictions.
- My First Vote (2009)
- Testimonials of individuals who regained their voting rights after being disenfranchised because of past criminal convictions.
- De Facto Disenfranchisement, Erika Wood & Rachel Bloom (2008)
- A report on how complex laws, poorly informed officials, and misinformation lead to the de facto disenfranchisement of citizens with past criminal convictions who are eligible to vote.
- Racism & Felony Disenfranchisement: An Intertwined History, Erin Kelley (2017)
- A piece examining the historical roots of criminal disenfranchisement laws that today strip voting rights from millions of U.S. citizens.
For more information about the Brennan Center’s work on Restoring Voting Rights in Arizona, please contact Derek Paulhus, at firstname.lastname@example.org.