Judge: Why wasn't Arizona registration suit filed sooner?

PHOENIX (AP) – A judge presiding over a lawsuit that alleges Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan is failing to update voter registration addresses for certain people raised questions at a hearing Wednesday about why the case was filed so close to the Nov. 6 election.

U.S. District Judge James Teilborg also asked whether Reagan had the power to make the changes being sought by the League of Women Voters of Arizona and other groups.

The lawsuit alleges thousands of people have been harmed by Reagan's failure to update voter registration records in cases where people have informed motor vehicle offices they have new addresses. A federal law from the 1990s allows people to register to vote at motor vehicle offices.

The hearing on Wednesday focused on requests by the groups that filed the lawsuit to order county election officials to count provisional ballots from voters who have changed their registration addresses at motor vehicle offices since late 2016. The groups also want the judge to order Reagan to send letters informing all affected voters that their registration may be out of date.

Lawyers for Reagan said the groups may have found a technical violation of the federal National Voter Registration Act, but they can't show their members have been harmed. The secretary of state's attorneys also said there's no evidence to show voters have been disenfranchised and contend the requests made by the opposing lawyers won't likely resolve the issue and instead would be costly and could cause confusion.