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Updated Feb 27, 2014 - 3:25 pm

Arizona Gov. Brewer signs elections overhaul repeal

PHOENIX -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday signed a bill repealing a 2013 elections overhaul by Republicans that left voter-rights groups incensed and led to a petition drive that put the law on hold and referred it to voters.

The bill repealed a sweeping elections overhaul that Republicans passed in the final hours of the 2013 legislative session, angering Democrats, some conservative Republicans and third-party candidates. They came together to collect more than 146,000 signatures to place the law on hold and put it on the November ballot.

Repealing the law cancels the voter referendum.

Brewer issued no statement regarding her action.

Both houses of the legislature approved the bill along party lines earlier this month.

The 2013 election law was cobbled together from several GOP bills on the final day of the legislative session last year and passed without a single Democratic vote.

The measure trimmed Arizona's permanent early voting list, removing infrequent voters from a list of those allowed to vote by mail. It also made it a crime for voter-outreach groups to turn in ballots, and made it harder for third-party candidates and voter initiatives to get on the ballot.

Republicans who pushed the repeal said they are following the will of the voters and expressed worry that the many provisions in the bill could not be changed without a supermajority vote of the Legislature if it is repealed by voters. Democrats argued there was no guarantee the provisions will be re-enacted.

The repeal and the subsequent canceling of the voter referendum angered Democrats.

``The governor's decision to sign HB 2196 is an insult to Arizona voters,'' said Rep. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix. ``They wanted a chance to have their voices heard on a law that created significant barriers to the voting process.

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