Bipartisan Arizona Law Makes Crucial Updates to Presidential Election Deadlines

A row of Arizona state flags
The state flag of Arizona. Photo by wingedwolf

After the January 6 attack on our country revealed gaps and ambiguities in the process of certifying presidential elections, Congress passed the Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022 — a strong bipartisan bill and major victory for voters’ ability to make their voices heard in future presidential elections.

In the year since, advocates and lawmakers at the state level have been working tirelessly to ensure their presidential election procedures conform to the newly passed federal law.

Arizona is the latest state to do so, as part of a robust bipartisan bill signed last week by Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs. The bill’s passage and signing helps secure Arizona’s elections, aligning Arizona’s post-election timelines with the new federal deadlines — a vital improvement ahead of the 2024 presidential election and a step forward for democracy and for Arizona’s voters.  

Specifically, the bill enables Arizona’s election law to comply with the ECRA by shortening the timeline for the post-election process for certification from county boards, clarifying and streamlining the recount process, and requiring the use of electronic transmission for voting results to the AZ Secretary of State so they receive them more quickly, among other fixes.  

These updates will help ensure Arizona meets the ECRA’s December 11 deadline for states to certify presidential election results. Doing so will enable Arizona’s presidential election results to be communicated to Congress, reflecting the will of Arizona’s voters.

CLC’s leadership has played a critical role not only in crafting and advancing the ECRA, but in supporting states ahead of 2024 as they work to ensure their presidential post-election procedures comply with the newly passed federal law.

Already, at least ten other states have passed or updated laws — often on a bipartisan basis — to comply with the ECRA.  

For example, laws in North Dakota, Indiana and Colorado clarify that electors must meet on the first Tuesday after the second Wednesday in December (December 17 in 2024), as is now required by the ECRA.

Similarly, Colorado, Kansas, California, South Carolina, Nevada and Michigan have made changes that help ensure that key post-election processes can be completed by the ECRA’s new certification deadline.  

Every voter deserves to have their voice heard and every vote must be counted. Congress crafted the ECRA to uphold these values by preventing bad actors from undermining the will of the voters in presidential elections. Now states are taking action to ensure they are prepared for this year’s election.

CLC commends Arizona lawmakers — and those in the states mentioned above — for their bipartisan efforts to update their election laws to make sure all votes are counted and election results are honored. We hope other states will follow their lead and make necessary legislative updates in advance of this year’s presidential election. 

Catie is CLC's Senior Director, Policy & Strategic Partnerships.