AZ House votes to deny Arizonans their constitutional right to vote on a citizens-referred referendum

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Our lawless legislature continues to demonstrate its contempt for the citizens of Arizona and their constitutional right to refer an act of the legislature to the voters to decide in a citizens referendum ("citizens veto"). The larger context here is its utter contempt for democracy and the right to vote.

More than 140,000 Arizonans braved the heat of an Arizona summer to circulate and sign petitions to refer HB 2305, the GOP Voter Suppression Act, to the ballot in November to let the people decide on what the legislature enacted as a "strike everything" amendment in the dead of night when no one was watching. There was no public notice, and no public hearing before a committee.

(If you want to outlaw something in the Arizona Constitution, let's start with the "strike everything" amendment. All bills should have to be filed, noticed for public hearing, and proceed through "regular order" of committee hearings and floor amendments.)

You willl recall that at the end of January, the House Judiciary Committee took up HB 2196 (.pdf), a singe-sentence bill to repeal the GOP Voter Suppression Act. House Judiciary Committee approves repeal of HB 2305 on a party line vote. The House Rules Committee signed off on this GOP skullduggery earlier this week.

On Thursday, the House Tea-Publicans voted to deny Arizonans their constitutional right to vote on a citizens-referred referendum. Arizona House approves bill to repeal election-law changes. Here is the party-line vote:

Screenshot from 2014-02-14 11:30:40

Here is the House vote for HB 2305 from last June.

Screenshot from 2014-02-14 11:35:47

Reps. Heather Carter and Michelle Ugenti (a co-author of provisions in HB 2305) voted no on HB 2305 but for repeal of HB 2305.

So to Arizona's political reporters who continue to entertain the fantasy that there are "moderate" Republicans in the Arizona legislature, Tea-Publicans first voted for the GOP Voter Suppression Act, HB 2305. Only after the citizens of Arizona rose up in righteous indignation to refer their heinous act to the ballot in a citizens referendum did they realize that "you know, we may get our asses handed to us by the voters." So Tea-Publicans are now denying Arizonans their constitutional right to vote on a citizens-referred referendum. That's a two-fer for GOP voter suppression from our lawless legislature.

Earlier this week, the Senate Elections Committee voted in favor of SB 1232 (.pdf), which would "require circulators who are not residents of this state (non-residents) and paid petition circulators to register with the Secretary of State (SOS) prior to circulating petitions and prescribes circulator registration information."

This bill was an element of HB 2305. The bill "Conditions the enactment of the following provisions on the approval or rejection of Laws 2013, chapter 209, the subject of referendum petition R-03-2014, at the next general election, or the failure of Laws 2013, chapter 209 to be referred to the ballot at the next general election:

a) eliminates the requirement that non-resident circulators register with the SOS prior to circulating petitions and eliminates the requirement that the SOS provide for a method of receiving service of process for registered non-resident circulators.

b) directs the SOS to remove all petition sheets collected by a circulator who fails to register as required.

When political reporters continue to quote Rep. "Fast Eddie" Farnsworth's disingenuous claim that “I am not pushing anything to piecemeal this,” they are ignoring this bill which has already been approved in the Senate Elections Committee.

Opponents correctly believe that the evil GOP bastards will approve the same provisions in several different bills later, once the danger of a referendum has been repealed.

The Arizona Republic reports, Arizona House approves bill to repeal election-law changes:

House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, said he wouldn’t commit to blocking any such end runs, if they materialize, just as he hasn’t pledged to do so on other legislation.

“I never have, I’ve never done that in all the years I’ve been here,” Tobin said.

Tobin and other Republicans have said they believe elections officials need the ability to remove voters from the the early-voting list if they repeatedly get a mail-in ballot and don’t send it in. These voters tend to show up at the polls on Election Day, where they have to vote using a provisional ballot, which takes more time to verify, dragging out election results.

Other Republicans, such as Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, said they have concerns about the ability of a group or person to collect others’ ballots and return them to the polls.

Filing deadlines for bills are meaningless. The evil GOP bastards prefer the "strike-everything" amendment and acting in the dead of night without public notice. This ain't over until sine die.

Remember in November. Kick 'em all out!

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