Republicans sue to purge at least 500,000 people from Arizona voter rolls • Arizona Mirror

The leadership of the Arizona Republican Party and a conservative dark money group have filed a lawsuit, claiming the state failed to accurately count the number of registered voters and asking a court to force election officials to purge 500,000 Arizona residents from the voter rolls.

The federal lawsuit alleges that the state's list of registered voters includes as many as 1.27 million voters who have either died or moved out of state, in violation of the National Voter Registration Act.

Four counties in Arizona have more registered voters than eligible voters overall, the group's lawsuit says: Apache, La Paz, Navajo and Santa Cruz. The lawsuit relies on 2022 voter registration numbers and data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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The lawsuit was filed by Scot Mussi, president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Gina Swoboda and Steve Gaynor, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Arizona Secretary of State in 2018.

“Election integrity is a serious problem in our country,” Mussi said in a written statement announcing the lawsuit. “To ensure that Arizonans can have confidence in the integrity of our electoral system and our representative government, we must first create clean voter rolls that leave no doubt about who is eligible to vote.”

In the lawsuit, Mussi and the others claim that Secretary of State Adrian Fontes failed to develop a program to segregate ineligible voters. Fontes acknowledged this failure and described the program as “under development.”

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that advocates for conservative policies and helps Republican candidates win elections, has filed several other lawsuits against Fontes. One lawsuit filed in October 2023 sought to block the use of ballot drop boxes in the state, while another filed in February sought to defend ballot drop box surveillance.

Arizona Department of State spokesman JP Martin said the state's voter registration monitoring is “up to date and in compliance with federal and state laws.”

Martin said Fontes' office would not comment on pending litigation, but voters have no reason to worry and the lawsuit is based on speculation rather than evidence.

A hearing date for the lawsuit has not yet been set.

Anna Harden

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