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The Arizona statute governing voter registration in 2016 set a deadline that required registration be completed in a minimum time prior to the date of the 2016 November Election; it did not provide a day named or a time in which an act is required to be done. Therefore, the deadline set in Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-120 is not the type of deadline generally subject to Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 1-303. Moreover, if the voter registration deadline were extended to Tuesday, October 11, 2016, the registration application would no longer be received prior to midnight of the twenty-ninth day preceding the date of the election, as required by the version of § 16-120 in effect in 2016. Therefore, the 2016 Arizona voter registration deadline is the type of deadline the Arizona Supreme Court believes is to be strictly construed.
Arizona law in effect in 2016 set the voter registration deadline for the 2016 November General Election ("2016 November Election") on Monday, October 10, 2016. Because Monday, October 10, 2016 was also Columbus Day, a state and federal holiday, certain methods of voter registration were not available on that day. Appellant David Isabel, along with roughly 2,000 others, registered to vote on Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Isabel now appeals the district court's dismissal of his lawsuit brought to remedy Appellees' failure to count Isabel's and the other October 11 registrants' votes.
Did the Arizona residents who registered to vote on October 11, 2016, register to vote in time to be eligible to vote in the 2016 November Election?
The court held that under the version of Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-120 in effect in 2016, an Arizona resident who registered to vote on October 11, 2016 did not register in time to be eligible to vote in the 2016 November Election where the statute did not provide a day named or a time in which an act was required to be done, and thus, Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 1-303 did not apply. The October 10, 2016 voter registration deadline did not violate the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) as the NVRA did not expressly direct states to further ensure that each of the enumerated methods were available on the thirtieth day before the election, even if that day fell on a non-business day.