HB 2604 would force cities to hold local elections in the same year as either state or federal balloting, if previous turn out was low. Currently, many cities hold their elections in off years so that voters can focus on local issues. State courts have previously ruled similar laws were unconstitutional.
State Republicans believe forcing cities to hold their elections at the same time as state & federal government would "save money" as well as encourage greater voter participation. There might also have more partisan reasons for wanting to force a change of date. Larger cities such as Phoenix and Tucson hold partisan elections, unlike Cochise County. So having city elections at the same time as state or federal elections would likely encourage voters to vote for all party candidates. Thank goodness out west we don't have a single "lever" to vote straight party at the polls like they do in Chicago and other eastern cities.
Bob Karp on HB 2604: Increased voter turn out is a laudable goal. But as has been the case this legislative session, the Republicans overreach, trying to dictate how local government should work. It is a pattern that includes plastic bag bans, school recess time, and local campaign finance ordinances. I will not support legislation that meddles with municipal elections. Let the cities run their own elections.