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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

An Arizona judge ruled Monday that the state's ban on mask mandates in schools, and other measures put into the state budget by Republicans, are unconstitutional, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The sweeping ruling voids a ban on vaccine requirements for public universities, community colleges and local governments, and strikes down some non-COVID-related measures like a ban on teaching critical race theory in classrooms and anti-fraud measures for ballots.

  • The measures were set to take effect Wednesday.

The Republican majority also included a provision in the bill to remove the Democratic Secretary of State's authority to enforce election laws, per KJZZ.

  • “The bill is classic logrolling — a medley of special interests cobbled together to force a vote for all or none,” wrote Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper in the ruling.

What she's saying: Cooper wrote that budget bills were meant to determine spending for the state, "not to enact laws prohibiting mask mandates, regulating school curriculum, or authorizing special interest projects unrelated to the budget or budget reconciliation."

  • "The issue here is not what the Legislature decided but how it decided what it did," she wrote.

Cooper cited laws in the Arizona Constitution that require bills to be about one subject and to be given names that reflect that subject, per KJZZ.

  • The state had argued that lawmakers have scope to decide what policies fit under the title of a bill, and what qualifies as the “single subject.”
  • A spokesperson for Republican Gov. Doug Ducey told KJZZ the ruling was "an example of judicial overreach."

What's next: Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich tweeted Monday he will appeal the ruling.

Go deeper

By the numbers: New state laws

Expand chart
Data: Quorum; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

States have been busy this year enacting bills focused on health, education, schools and elections, according to a recent analysis by Quorum.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has had significant impacts on health systems, schools and elections across the country — a likely contributor to the number of bills mentioning those topics.

Pennsylvania voter registration deadline arrives

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Monday marks the last day to register to vote for the Nov. 2 election.

State of play: Elections for state and local judges will dominate next month's ballot.

  • Voters will choose a new justice on the state Supreme Court, which is currently made up of five Democrats and two Republicans. A Republican judge on the state's highest court is retiring.
  • Judges for Superior, Commonwealth, Common Pleas and Municipal courts are also on the ballot.

What else: District Attorney Larry Krasner, a Democrat who's seeking reelection, is facing Republican Charles Peruto.

  • City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart, a Democrat incumbent, has no challenger.
  • Four ballot questions, which you can find here, will also be asked of voters.

What they're saying: David Thornburgh, CEO of the nonpartisan government watchdog group Committee of Seventy, told Axios that in recent years, people have been reminded of how important the state Supreme Court is.

  • The state's highest court notably tossed out gerrymandered congressional maps in 2018, and it has decided several issues around pandemic restrictions, Thornburgh said.

Voter turnout is historically low for municipal elections.

  • For this year's primary, turnout was 21%, a drop from roughly 66% in the 2020 presidential election.

Yes, but: Thornburgh said mail-in ballots could help boost turnout.

  • "Extraordinary turnout last year. Folks that hadn't voted in a while showed up to vote, and this [election] will be some test whether they're only going to show up once every four years," he said.

The city will provide 16 dropboxes for voters to cast mail-in and absentee ballots.

  • Mail-in ballots must be received by 8pm on Election Day.

Go deeper: We've linked resources and more information below.

1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook is a news media magnet

Expand chart
Data: Signal AI; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

New data finds that Facebook has been mentioned in more online stories in the U.S. in the past year than all of its major tech competitors combined.

Why it matters: Press scrutiny of Facebook has become so intense and negative that the tech giant is reportedly planning to rename itself as soon as next week to signal that it's more than just a social media company.