If voter registration numbers are any indication, it appears as though Graham County residents will be voting in force in November’s election.
Graham County Recorder Wendy John said the county picked up at least 469 new voters between Jan. 1 and Oct. 5, bringing the total number of registered voters to 19,585. Some voter registration forms were still being processed as of Wednesday.
Overall, the number of Democrats in the county has dropped by 87 and stood at 5,182 as of Wednesday, John said. The party picked up 105 new voters between the primary election Aug. 4 and Oct. 5.
Not only have some voters changed parties, but “the changes also take in cancelled records, voters who have moved or passed away,” John said.
There are now 9,923 Republicans in the county; the party picked up 290 voters between Aug. 4 and Oct. 5.
Oct. 5 was supposed to be the final day to register to vote in Arizona, however that has now been extended until Oct. 23.
In a ruling late Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan said the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on travel and gathering imposed by Gov. Doug Ducey made it difficult for some groups to fulfill their goals of getting more people to register to vote. So he said that, at least for this year, Monday’s deadline does not apply.
Instead, he is directing the state’s 15 county recorders to accept all voter registration applications received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 23.
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs will not appeal the decision.
“We need to give the voters clarity,’’ said aide Murphy Hebert. “We don’t want to prolong this.’’
But Kory Langhofer already has filed a notice of appeal.
Langhofer represents the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Logan had given them permission to intercede in the case.
He contends that Mi Familia Vota and the Arizona Coalition for Change waited too long — until Sept. 29 — before filing suit. That is based on Supreme Court precedents, going back more than a decade, which frown on making changes in the process so close to an election.
Langhofer also argues that the challengers have known for months that the pandemic and the Ducey-imposed restrictions had cut into their ability to sign up new voters. That delay alone, he said, is reason to toss the case.
Howard Fischer from Capitol Media Services contributed to this report.