Arizona AANHPIs Ask Court to Halt Voter Purge Law Before 2022 Elections 

Advancing Justice – AAJC, Latham & Watkins, and Spencer Fane file preliminary injunction for client AZ AANHPI for Equity Coalition
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144

Phoenix, AZ — The Arizona Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander for Equity Coalition (“AZ AANHPI for Equity Coalition”) today filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the US District Court for the District of Arizona in its suit involving House Bill 2243, a voter purge bill with sweeping near-term effects on the upcoming November election. Today’s motion asks for expedited review and requests that the Court grant a preliminary injunction prohibiting implementation of HB 2243 in any respect, including from sending notices of cancellation or removing or purging voters’ registrations, pending final judgment in the lawsuit.

The request for an injunction follows a complaint filed last week against officials in Arizona tasked with enforcing election laws and implementing HB 2492 and HB 2243, which are targeted precisely at voters of color and naturalized voters.  Because it is not set to take effect until January, HB 2492 is not at issue in today’s motion for preliminary injunction.

“House Bill 2243 is an insidious law that should not be allowed to take effect because it has the potential to purge eligible voters from voter rolls, thus prohibiting them from casting their vote in November,” said Niyati Shah, Director of Litigation at Advancing Justice – AAJC. “Stopping this bill from taking effect will mean eligible AANHPI voters, especially the more than 60% who are naturalized, are no longer at risk of being potentially purged from voter rolls before the midterm elections. Together with House Bill 2492, these latest state laws are part of a nearly two-decade campaign by Arizona officials to keep eligible voters, including from the AANHPI community, from the ballot box. We will not stand by idly and watch AANHPI voters’ rights be trampled.”

Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders are among one of the fastest growing racial groups in Arizona, with over 60% of AANHPI citizen voting age Arizonans being naturalized U.S. citizens. 

“I’m proud to speak out on behalf of all AANHPI Arizonans who deserve the right to vote without suppression tactics and laws that violate the Constitution,” said May Tiwamangkala, Democracy Defender Director at AZ AANHPI for Equity Coalition. “We are in this fight to protect the rights of all voters in our state, including those from the AANHPI communities. HB 2243 has created fear among many AANHPIs who are afraid that simply because of the origin of their names they will be targeted. So we hope that a favorable ruling will stop the fear and confusion HB 2243 has already caused in our communities.”

Sadik Huseny of Latham & Watkins added, “HB 2243 puts eligible voters and prospective voters at imminent risk of disenfranchisement, and threatens irreparable harm to them and those that seek to conduct voter registration and mobilization. As we stated in our filing, the Court’s action is necessary to protect the right to vote by all citizens in Arizona—whatever their race, country of origin, or path taken to citizenship.”

AZ AANHPI for Equity Coalition is represented by Niyati Shah and Terry Ao Minnis of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian American Justice Center (Advancing Justice – AAJC), Sadik Huseny and Amit Makker of Latham & Watkins LLP, and Andrew M. Federhar of Spencer Fane.

Read the full motion here