Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs appeals voter registration deadline

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

PHOENIX – Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs reversed course Sunday and filed an appeal to overturn a court’s decision that extended the state’s voter registration deadline, according to court documents.

In a court filing on Sunday, documents show that Hobbs originally did not intend to appeal the order, but came to the conclusion that the instant appeal and stays requests have “caused significant uncertainty and finality.”

The documents show Hobbs filed the appeal because the last-minute request would create administrative burdens for election officials, including county recorders.

Hobbs is open to a compromise on the matter but wants it to be resolved quickly. She’s proposing that the courts should give voters notice that the deadline has changed, but also provide them with an agreed upon grace period to ensure their registration is submitted.

Last week, a federal judge ruled that Arizona’s voter registration deadline could be extended from Oct. 5 to Oct. 23.

U.S. District Judge Steven Logan ruled the pandemic has undermined the integrity of the election by preventing a portion of the population from registering to vote and concluded that extending the deadline would let the voices of those people be heard.

Two advocacy groups seeking to register voters had asked the court to extend the deadline, saying its registration numbers plummeted because of the COVID-19 restrictions, though those figures have returned to almost the same level as before the pandemic.

Following the ruling, Republican organizations appealed the decision.

On Thursday, an appeals court rejected a bid by Republican organizations to put ruling on hold.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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