Republican Bills Attack Voting Rights, Freedom of Expression (video)

voter suppression in Arizona

We were greeted with a HUGE list of bills in caucus this morning.

Since the staff didn’t receive the caucus agenda until about an hour before the meeting, Democrats discussed a giant list of controversial bills with no staff briefing materials. (Typical Republican disrespect for our caucus and our staff.)

The list of bills attacking your rights was nearly 2 pages long. Republicans have proposed several voter suppression bills, plus attacks on freedom to protest, Clean Elections, and the Citizens Initiative. This blog post and video from February covers some of the voter suppression bills proposed in the Arizona House.

Today’s video covers a few examples of Senate voter suppression bills: SB1485 (PEVL Purge proposed by Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita); SB1593 (shortening length of time to vote early proposed by Senator David Gowan); SB1106 (class 6 felony for people who vote in Arizona and don’t intent to remain a resident of Arizona, proposed by Senator J.D. Mesnard); and SB1530 (instructions to mail ballots back would criminalize family members who forward ballots, proposed by Mesnard).

The video ends with a plea to Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly to pass HR1, the For the People Act. Arizona is not the only state going crazy with voter suppression legislation. More than 250 voter suppression bills are being heard in 43 states. If we have to end the filibuster to pass HR1, do it.

Arizona’s Democratic legislators are doing everything we can to beat back these terrible bills that take away your rights, but I fear that many of them will make it to the governor’s desk.

More people than ever before voted in 2020 because voting was made more accessible to people who can’t get to the polls on Election Day. That’s a good thing. We should learn from 2020. How can we increase accessibility and security for 2022, instead of doing everything possible to destroy the system. We need HR1!

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UPDATE: As of April 21, 2021, SB1485 passed the Senate and the House but goes back to the Senate for final read. SB1593 stalled in the Senate. SB1106 and SB1530 passed the Senate and are ready for debate in the House.