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Mi Familia Vota Wins Landmark Voting Rights Victory In Arizona
PHOENIX – Mi Familia Vota, the Arizona Coalition for Change, and an individual voter registration organizer have won a lawsuit to extend the Arizona voter registration deadline to October 23rd. The plaintiffs argued that the COVID-19 pandemic stymied typical voter registration efforts. In response to that lawsuit, a federal judge in Arizona issued an order Monday evening extending the voter registration deadline from October 5th to October 23.
Hector Sanchez Mi Familia Vota, CEO and Executive Director said: “With the national government in chaos due to the negligence of the President, the local organizing done by Mi Familia Vota is building political power on the local community to meet the challenges of this moment. This is a huge victory for our democracy, and an example that great work can happen at the state level. Winning this lawsuit will ensure that millions of potentially disenfranchised Arizona voters will have the opportunity to register and vote in this critically important election. Trump has declared war on our community and we are fighting back for our democracy. Why are they so afraid of us participating in our democracy?”
“The historic extension of the Arizona voter registration deadline is a victory for the community,” says Eduardo Sainz, Mi Familia Vota Arizona State Director. “At this critical time we must ensure that our communities are ready and can participate in our democracy. Their voices must be heard on election night”
“This ruling is a vindication of the fundamental right to vote,” says Reginald Bolding of the Arizona Coalition for Change. “Court intervention here was necessary to address the impact of the pandemic on voter registration. Thanks to this ruling, many more voters will have their voices heard in this election.”
BACKGROUND: This year, organizations that register citizens to vote were effectively prevented from registering voters from March 30, 2020, when Arizona imposed a stay-at-home order and other restrictions on day-to-day interactions in order to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, to the middle of August when those restrictions were lifted. As a result, new voter registration has been far lower than in previous years. With the lifting of the state’s restrictions, plaintiffs have recently pivoted their operations to adapt to the pandemic, registering thousands of Arizona voters. Yet Arizona’s voter registration deadline—earlier than most states, threatened to prematurely halt those efforts. The plaintiffs are represented in this case by Free Speech For People; Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP; and Osborn Maledon P.A.
Mi Familia Vota’s mission is to build Latino political power by expanding the electorate, strengthening local infrastructures, and through year-round voter engagement. We are also training the next generation of leaders by opening opportunities through our Youth Development Programs and through our Mi Familia Vota work.