Arizona Democratic Officeholders Strongly Condemn Republican Voter Suppression Bill to Address the Election Mess MAGA Legislators Created

Photo from Arizona House and Senate Democrats.

In 2022 when it was becoming increasingly clear in the Cyber Ninjas fiasco that there was no fraud in the Presidential Elections in Arizona, Republican lawmakers and Governor Doug Ducey, largely at the behest of their Trumpets-MAGA masters passed a election law that would trigger more automatic voter recounts if the margin of victory is 0.5 or less.

It had been 0.1 or less.

Unfortunately, great thinkers that the Republican lawmakers were, they did not install enough measures to ensure smooth elections to account for the new recount provisions.

County officials have been warning that potential mayhem may ensue if the current 2024 election calendar was not altered.

The Governor and Democratic lawmakers, since September, have been trying to strike a bipartisan clean election fix to avoid potential chaos should the 2024 elections feature multiple races that trigger recounts.

Unfortunately, Republicans seem to have adopted a different strategy, putting forth their own bill that does move up the Arizona primary to July 30, 2024 (something the county officials say they can work with) but also tries to incorporate many items on their voter suppression wish list (like taking away early voting centers) that Governor Hobbs has already vetoed last year.

They also want to change the ballot verification cure period from five business days to five calendar days. That does not seem like a major issue but when the calendar days fall on Saturday and Sunday, this could potentially create quite a crunch, especially in large urban, small rural, and tribal communities.

Governor Hobbs, in reporting by AZ Central, said the Republican bill, even in the seriously unlikely event it gets two thirds of the vote in the Arizona House and Senate (not happening in this reality,) called the legislation “dead on arrival”

Later in a joint press release with Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, the Governor commented:

“Arizona voters are relying on us to do our jobs and protect their votes. I have shown time and time again that I am willing to compromise, but I will not sign a bill that’s filled with harmful unrelated legislation or that hurts voters’ right to have their voice heard at the ballot box. I have been clear from day one: voters did not create this problem, and they should not be harmed to fix it. It is unacceptable that lawmakers are attempting to punish voters for a problem they created themselves. I have and will continue to put Arizona voters first, and I implore legislators standing in the way of compromise to do the same.”

Secretary Fontes stated:

“If there was ever a reason to be bipartisan, to be American, it would be to rally around the issue of empowering voters. Instead, we are dealing with this artificially manufactured crisis that makes it more difficult for Arizonans to vote. We can’t resolve this problem on the backs of citizens when there are common sense solutions on the table that enable what we should all want: free, fair, and secure elections.”

In a separate press statement, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes offered:

“Any proposed solution to the election timeline issue should not make it harder for Arizonans to cast their ballots or ensure their vote was counted. The current solution proposed by legislative Republicans does not offset the harm that would be caused by shortening the cure period from five business days to five calendar days and includes policies entirely unrelated to the timeline issue. I am particularly concerned about the impact the shortened cure period would have on our state’s rural, tribal, and low-income voters.”

“Now is not the time for partisan maneuvering. I urge legislative leaders to continue working with Governor Hobbs, Secretary Fontes, and the County Recorders on a clean solution that ensures Arizona can meet critical electoral deadlines but does not harm Arizona voters in the process.”

Arizona Legislative Democrats led by State Senator Priya Sundareshan and State Representative Laura Terech accompanied Casey Clowes, the Voting Rights Director for Progress Arizona and other activists in a morning event at the Capitol Rose Garden.

Both Sundareshan and Terech in their remarks echoed Hobbs, Mayes, and Fontes, saying that voters should not have to pay for Republicans mistakes, that the MAGA legislators should not use this mess of their own creation to suppress voter rights, and only a clean fix will get the two thirds votes necessary to pass the legislature and get Governor Hobb’s signature.

In her comments, Terech advised that she would be putting. forth her own clean fix bill.

House Speaker Ben Toma’s attitude on reaching compromise with the Democrats “That’s on them,” as reported by AZ Central if the Democrats and Governor Hobbs do not accept their bill.

It is time for Republicans to grow up and recognize that they can not call the shots anymore at the State Capitol.

It is time to correct their errors and do what is right for the people of Arizona.

Leave a Comment