Registration error affects up to 6,000 Arizona voters

PHOENIX (AP) – A voter registration error resulted in up to 6,000 Arizona voters being cast on the ballot with only federal races, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Tuesday.

Hobbs, who is a Democratic candidate for governor, said in a statement that affected voters will soon receive the correct ballot.

Hobbs has largely staked her gubernatorial campaign on her staunch defense of the 2020 election in the face of criticism from former President Donald Trump and his allies. Her Republican rival, former television news anchor Kari Lake, floated Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of fraud two years ago and called on Hobbs to step down from overseeing the midterms while she is on the ballot.

When people register to vote in Arizona or update their registration, the election system examines driver’s license records to verify that the person has proven citizenship. Those without citizenship documentation on file are ineligible to vote in state elections and are registered as “federal only” voters.

Sophia Solis, a spokeswoman for Hobbs, said the driver’s license inquiry failed to properly verify citizenship for some people, leading them to be improperly registered as voters only at the federal level. She did not provide an overview of their party affiliation or describe the characteristics that led to the problem.

Federal-only voters have been the subject of political spats since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that Arizona could not require documentary proof of citizenship for people to vote in national elections. The state responded by creating two classes of voters — those who could vote in all races and those who could vote only in federal elections.

Hobbs said in her statement that the issue affected less than a quarter of 1 percent of voters. She said the database problem was fixed.

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