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ARIZONA FELON RIGHTS RESTORATION
GET BACK YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE
Your vote is your voice. It is a fundamental right and the cornerstone of our democracy. It gives us power and lets us play a part in American political life.
In Arizona, the government takes away your right to vote in state or federal elections if you have been convicted of more than one felony, but you can apply to restore your right to vote. The following information is designed to help you regain your civil rights, including your right to vote.
There are three potential actions a person may request in Arizona:
- Restoration of Civil Liberties (right to vote; right to hold public office; right to serve as a juror)
- Setting Aside Judgment of Guilt (click here for info on expunging or sealing records)
- Request To Possess Firearms (gun rights are NOT automatically resorted)
The Arizona courts can only restore those rights of which the State of Arizona suspended. If your conviction took place outside the State of Arizona, you must go back to the State of your conviction to petition the courts there.
Automatic Restoration (One Felony)
For your first and only one-count felony conviction, you automatically regain your civil rights upon absolute discharge from the Arizona Department of Corrections and/or completion of all aspects of your probation. In addition, you must pay all court-ordered fines before registering to vote, even if you were convicted of only one felony. When the individual has completed the sentence, in this situation, the only action they need to take to be eligible to vote is to complete and submit a new registration form. In this situation, the person does not have to apply to the court to have the right to vote restored; it is automatic, A.R.S. § 13-912.
Judicial Restoration (Two or More Felonies)
If the person was convicted of two or more felony offenses, either in a single criminal case or in separate cases, the individual (or their attorney) must petition the court that sentenced them for restoration of their civil rights, including the right to vote. For example, if a person was sentenced in Pima County, they must petition the court in Pima County; they may not petition the court in Maricopa County.
There are time limits depending on the type of conviction and the sentence imposed. If the sentence imposed was only a period of probation, the petition may be filed as soon as the individual has been discharged from probation, A.R.S. § 13-905. If the court imposed a prison sentence, the petition may not be filed until two years after the person has completed the prison sentence and any period of parole/community supervision, A.R.S. § 13-906. You must have your "Certificate of Absolute Discharge" to submit to the court where you were sentenced for restoration of rights. If you have multiple felony convictions, you must file separately for each one.
It is up to the judge whether or not to grant the petition. People who were sentenced to lifetime probation for some types of offenses will never complete their sentence and therefore are not eligible to have their rights restored under the statute.
An information packet and form to file for restoration of civil rights is available from the Criminal Section of the Maricopa County Clerk of Superior Court’s office, at 201 W Jefferson St., Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, please call the Restoration of Civil Rights Clerk at (602) 506-0478 .
Arizona law requires probation officers or courts handling your probation to notify you, in writing, of the process for restoring your right to vote.
You should work with your probation officer upon the termination of your probation to restore your civil rights so long as you have completed any restitution and paid all court-ordered fines.
Persons Adjudicated Delinquent as a Juvenile Offender
A juvenile offender found to be delinquent by the juvenile court does not lose most of their civil rights, even if the offense would have been a felony offense had the juvenile been an adult. The juvenile does lose the right to possess a firearm or gun, but not the right to vote, A.R.S. § 13-912.01. If the juvenile was treated as an adult under the law, the conviction does suspend the right to vote and the procedures set forth above apply.
Procedure to Re-Register
Once a person’s civil rights have been restored, in order to be eligible to vote, that person must complete and submit a new voter registration form. The felony conviction resulted in the canceling of their registration and merely having civil rights restored does not “un-cancel” the registration. A new registration form is required.
The voter registration form in Arizona is an affidavit. When a person completes the form, they are stating that either they have not been convicted of a felony offense, or if they were, their right to vote has been restored. If a person signs and submits the form and they are not eligible to vote, they have committed a felony offense merely by registering to vote, A.R.S. § 16-182. Should that person also actually vote in any election, they have committed another felony offense, A.R.S. § 16-1016.
The County Recorder’s Elections Office does not require proof of the restoration of civil rights prior to processing a voter registration form. Their acceptance of the form does not constitute a verification that they agree that a person’s right to vote has been restored. A person with a felony conviction in their past is encouraged to consult with their attorney to resolve eligibility issues before they complete and submit a new voter registration form. The County Recorder’s Elections Office refers all suspected cases of false registration to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation and prosecution.
County Rights Restoration Application Links
If you have two or more felony convictions, to restore your right to vote, you must apply with the Superior Court of each county where you were convicted. For example, if you have a felony conviction in Maricopa County and a felony conviction in Pima County, you must fill out restoration applications for both counties. Below are links and information on how to obtain Rights Restoration application materials for each county in Arizona.
Apache: Accepts applications from Maricopa County as long as Apache is substituted for Maricopa throughout. Contact: PO Box 365, St. Johns, AZ, 85936, or by phone at (928) 337-7550.
Cochise: Walk in and pick up petition or mailed upon request. Contact: 100 Colonia de Salud Sierra Vista, AZ 85635. Also available online
Coconino: Available online here
Gila: Accepts applications from Maricopa County as long as Gila is substituted for Maricopa throughout. Or walk-in and pick up petition or mailed upon request. Contact: Globe Courthouse 1400 E. Ash Street, Globe, AZ 85501, or call (928) 425-3231, or Payson Courthouse 714 S. Beeline Hwy. Payson, AZ 85541, or call (928) 474-3978.
Graham: Accepts applications from Maricopa County as long as Graham is substituted for Maricopa throughout. Contact: 800 W. Main St., Safford, AZ 85546, or call (928) 428-3100.
Greenlee: Use Maricopa County petition and substitute Greenlee County for Maricopa then submit to Superior Court Clerk, 223 Fifth St, P.O. Box 1027, Clifton, AZ 85533, or call (928) 865-4242.
La Paz: Accepts applications from Maricopa County as long as La Paz is substituted for Maricopa throughout. Contact: 1316 Kofa Ave, Suite 607, Parker, AZ 85344, or call (928) 669-6131.
Mohave: Available Online
Navajo: Use Maricopa County petition and substitute Navajo County for Maricopa then submit to Clerk of the Court, Navajo County, Governmental Complex, 100 East Carter Drive, South Highway 77, P.O. Box 668, Holbrook, AZ 86025.
Pima: Available online
Pinal: Available online
Santa Cruz: Accepts applications from Pima or Maricopa County as long as Santa Cruz is substituted for Pima or Maricopa throughout. Contact: 2150 N Congress Drive, Nogales, AZ 85621, or call (520) 375-7700.
Yavapai: Available online Also accepts applications from Maricopa County as long as Yavapai is substituted for Maricopa throughout. Contact: (928)567-7741
Yuma: Accepts applications from Maricopa County as long as Yuma is substituted for Maricopa throughout. Or pick up application at office: Contact: Yuma Clerk of Courts at 250 W. 2nd St. Yuma, AZ 85634, or call (928) 817-4237.
If you have any questions, contact the ACLU of Arizona at (602) 650-1854.
To determine if you are eligible to vote and to figure out how and where to go vote, please click here.