The public availability of, and access to, voter registration records is key to ensuring that citizens and voter registration organizations can guard against capricious, negligent, or discriminatory practices on the part of state election officials. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires that election officials make such records available for public inspection without imposing improper and discriminatory fees.
Following the 2012 election, Project Vote submitted a records request to Maricopa County, in order to ensure that eligible registrants had been fairly and accurately added to the voter rolls. The office of Helen Purcell, then Maricopa County’s Recorder, informed the voting rights group that the requested records would cost nearly $50,000. Project Vote encountered similar barriers to accessing and obtaining records from the Pima County Recorder and the Secretary of State’s office.
For this reason, Project Vote filed suit in April 2016 against include Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan, Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, and Pima County Recorder Ann Rodriguez.
In March 2017, Project Vote reached an amiable settlement with the office of Adrian Fontes, Maricopa County Recorder, which settled all claims against the county. In the agreement, Maricopa County agreed to make voter registration data—including information on failed and rejected applications—available to the public, with suitable provisions for withholding of confidential information. The agreement also established maximum fees for groups requesting copies of voter registration records in the future. The county also agreed to improve their compliance in keeping NVRA-covered records. This agreement is in effect for eight years, through the 2024 election cycle.
The remainder of Project Vote’s lawsuit, against Pima County and the Arizona Secretary of State, remains ongoing.
Most Recent / Relevant Items
Advanced Filters and Sorting
Project Vote and the office of Adrian Fontes, Maricopa Co. Recorder, announced the settlement of a lawsuit over the transparency of voter registration records. Read more
A settlement agreement between Maricopa County, Arizona and Project Vote, to ensure that election protection groups have fair and reasonable access to voter registration records as required by the NVRA. Read more
Call us crazy, but—given all the problems people have had voting in Arizona—we think voter list maintenance should be done in the light of day. Read more