/ Modified may 11, 2021 3:56 p.m.

News roundup: Ducey signs bill aimed at early voting, AZ voters take on Dreamers’ tuition next year

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona, May 11.

Arizona COVID-19 cases: 7 days

Map shows COVID-19 cases and case rates over the week preceding the last update.

Credit: Nick O'Gara/AZPM. Sources: The New York Times, based on reports from state and local health agencies, Census Bureau. Case reports do not correspond to day of test.

Cases 870,155 | Deaths 17,428

On Tuesday, May 11, Arizona reported 683 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 additional deaths. State vaccination sites will start administering doses of the Pfizer vaccine to kids as young as 12 Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

Arizona voters to decide on in-state tuition for Dreamers next year


A bill that will let voters decide whether to give undocumented high school graduates access to the same in-state college tuition as their peers has passed through the Arizona Legislature.

Around 2,000 undocumented people graduate from Arizona high schools every year, according to a poll by the Migration Policy Institute. But those students haven't been allowed in-state tuition for more than a decade thanks to Proposition 300, a voter-approved measure that barred non-citizens from receiving a host of publicly funded services.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1044 seeks to repeal only the portion of the 2006 proposition that relates to tuition by putting the question back to voters next year.

Learn more here.

Arizona makes it easier to purge some from early voting list


PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill purging infrequent voters from a list of those who automatically get a ballot each election.

The Republican governor acted hours after state Senate Republicans approved the measure Tuesday over protests from Democrats and prominent business leaders who said the measure would suppress the votes of people of color.

The legislation is part of a wave of proposals to reduce voting access that have passed in Republican-controlled states around the country following former President Donald Trump’s defeat last year.

Repeated reviews have found no problems with the election results in Arizona or elsewhere.

Learn more here.

Arizona: State-run sites ready to give shots to kids 12-15


PHOENIX — Arizona health officials announced Tuesday that the seven state-run COVID-19 vaccination sites are poised to begin offering shots to children ages 12 to 15 starting Thursday.

The Department of Health Services made its announcement a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave emergency-use authorization for the administration of Pfizer’s vaccine to the 12 to 15 age group. A federal advisory committee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are expected to follow suit on Wednesday.

Arizona has state-run vaccination sites in metro Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma and Flagstaff.

Arizona on Tuesday reported 683 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19 more deaths.

Learn more here.

Navajo Nation reports 30 new COVID-19 cases, 1 more death


WINDOW ROCK — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths.

Tribal health officials also say there were 19 new coronavirus cases and one death Sunday, but the numbers weren’t immediately reported due to the Mother’s Day holiday.

The latest combined figures pushed the total number of cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago to 30,620 on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The known death toll now is at 1,285.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says more than half of the reservation’s adult population has been vaccinated, but people still need to stay home as much as possible, wear masks and avoid large gatherings.

Learn more here.

Judge dismisses GOP lawsuit over Maricopa County election


PHOENIX — A judge in Maricopa County has dismissed a lawsuit about alleged voting irregularities during the Arizona Republican Party's January elections.

The lawsuit stemmed from state party chairwoman Kelli Ward's narrow re-election. Her challenger, Sandra Dowling, alongside party activist Bill Beard, sued Ward and the party after officials declined to audit and recount the vote.

Superior Court Judge Michael Kemp has ruled that the dispute involved internal party politics and cannot be decided in a court of law.

Kemp says that GOP activists have other possible remedies outside the court, like forcing a special meeting or recalling Ward and other party officials.

Learn more here.

Migrant children held in mass shelters with little oversight


The Biden administration is holding tens of thousands of asylum-seeking children in an opaque network of some 200 facilities.

The Associated Press has learned that those facilities are spread across two dozen states and include five shelters with more than 1,000 children packed inside.

Confidential data obtained by the AP shows that the number of migrant children in government custody has more than doubled in the past two months and that this week the federal government is housing around 21,000 kids, from toddlers to teens.

A facility at U.S. Army post Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, had more than 4,500 children on Monday.

Learn more here.

Sonora Now 1 Of 14 Mexican States At Green, Lowest COVID-19 Risk

Fronteras Desk

Sonora, Arizona’s neighbor to the south, is now at green, or low risk, on the Mexican pandemic semáforo — or traffic light — scale.

It’s one of 14 states with that status, nearly half of Mexico’s 32 states. However, three large Sonoran municipalities — including the capital Hermosillo — remain at yellow, or moderate risk, according to the state’s own scale.

Sonora previously regained green status in mid-March, only to lose it a few weeks later.

State data tracked by the University of Sonora show declining daily cases and deaths over the past month.

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