April 23 UPDATE: As only she can do, Senator Kelly Townsend put a fly in the Republican Party’s ointment on Thursday when she unexpectedly voted NO on HB1485, killed the PEVL Purge bill (at lease temporarily), and left the building. [Below is my original blog post about the House vote.]
April 20 was high drama in the Arizona House — and not because it was 4/20!
After multiple parliamentary maneuvers to shut down debate on voter suppression, a retreat by the Democratic Caucus, and three hours of raucous wrangling over one bill, the Republicans passed SB1485 on a party line vote.
This bill has been dubbed the PEVL purge￼ because it will knock voters off of the Permanent Early Voter List (PEVL). It will disproportionally affect Black, Latino and Native American voters, seniors, and registered Independents. According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, if this bill passes, ~200,000 Arizona voters could be knocked off the PEVL before the next election.
Speaker Rusty Bowers refused to allow ANY debate in the Committee of the Whole (COW). Democrats called foul on lack of debate and late posting of amendments. Rep. Athena Salman, our parliamentary procedures whiz, called for a 24 hour delay in Floor action because amendments were not provided to members in a timely fashion, as per House rules. Floor was delayed one hour (instead of 24 hours). Republicans really wanted to pass both SB 1485 (voter suppression) and SB1457 (anti-abortion/fetal personhood) on the same day and then head to the border for a photo op on Wednesday with Governor Doug Ducey, who announced deploying National Guard to the border.
Continue reading #AZHouse Republicans Pass #PEVLPurge Voter Suppression Bill (video)
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).
Continue reading Republican Bills Attack Voting Rights, Freedom of Expression (video)
There’s never a dull moment in the Arizona Legislature when we debate voter suppression. There are more than 30 voter suppression bills currently in play. Arizona Republicans are #1 in the nation for their productivity. The sheer volume of bad bills that make it harder to vote, harder to register to vote, and easier to hide campaign donations is staggering. Many thanks to the hundreds of people who signed into RTS against these terrible attacks on your right to vote.￼
This video discuss several voter suppression bills from Reps. John Kavanagh and Jake Hoffman: HB2723 (campaign finance); HB2792 (felony charges for election workers who mail an unrequested ballot); HB2793 (criminalizing volunteers who register people to vote); HB2811 (ban on same-day voting); HB2569 (ban on elections departments taking outside funds to run the elections); HB2794 (ban on changing election deadlines, even during a pandemic); and HCR2023 (attack on Congressional voter rights bill HR1). (Correction to the video: I named Kavanagh and Chaplik as the source for these voter suppression bills, when in fact, these bills should be credited to Kavanagh and Hoffman. Hoffman gets the prize for proposing six voter suppression, although Kavanagh infamously said the the Government and Elections Committee that government should not look at the “quality of the votes” in an election — not just the quantity.)
Continue reading Arizona Is #1 in Voter Suppression (video)
Tens of thousands of Arizona voters– regardless of party affiliation– have signed up for the state’s vote-by-mail system by adding their names to the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL).
Vote-by-mail is safe and convenient. The current anti-mail-in ballot rhetoric from the Republican Party is meant to suppress the vote by stonewalling against mandates for national or statewide all-mail-in elections, given the COVID19 pandemic.
In-person voting during the COVID19 is risky for voters and poll workers. Wisconsin allowed people to vote at the polls in April, and one month later there were 71 COVID19 infections tracked to voters or poll workers.
Democratic Party Legislators have been pushing for all-mail-in ballots for the 2020 primary and general elections, but the Republicans are dead set against expanding vote-by-mail.
Sign Up for Vote-By-Mail
You can voluntarily add yourself to the PEVL list by going to ServiceArizona.com.
Continue reading #COVID19: ‘Vote-by-Mail’ Is Safe Way to Vote during a Pandemic
It was another late night on Wednesday, but I snuck away to my office for a couple of minutes to do a video in the daylight.
It’s about this time in the session when the Democrats start to get ornery because one bad bill after another is passed on a party line vote. If something fails, one of the good old boys or good old girls brings it back up for reconsideration, and all of the Republicans march in a line and revive the Zombie Bill, as directed. Occasionally, bills die a second time like the rodeo license plate that would have benefited the Spirit of the West Museum in Scottsdale.￼ That died for the second time yesterday– thanks to Reps. Shawnna Bolick and Michelle Udall joining the ranks of representatives who are fed up with license plates. (I did a previous update on this topic.)
Governor Doug Ducey and Republican Legislators often pontificate about reducing bureaucracy and regulation. They then turn around and create more bureaucracy and regulations surrounding issues and services that they don’t like–for example, women’s reproductive rights, Clean Elections, voter rights, independent redistricting, the Citizens Initiative, marijuana… you get the idea. Today’s video is about three Republican bills that create new, unnecessary and redundant bureaucracy, regulations, and structure in the government.
Continue reading #AZHouse #Republican Bills Create Unnecessary Bureaucracy & Regulation (video)
Republicans have two big problems with the 2018 election: too many of you voted, which resulted in too many of them losing.
Each year of the Arizona Legislature seems to have a theme. For 2017, the theme was big tax giveaways. For 2018, it was Red for Ed. The theme for 2019 is voter suppression. One of the Democrats suggested that the Republicans were overreacting to their losses in 2018.
The sheer volume of voter suppression bills is staggering. In the multiple ways, the Republicans are trying to make it more difficult to vote, to register someone to vote, and to submit Citizens’ Initiatives. They also want to solidify big money politics by attacking the independence of Clean Elections Commission.
There are so many awful bills that I needed a cheat sheet to do this video. Many of these are still in play, and you can use the Request to Speak system to comment. HB2724 (anti-Clean Elections) and HB2616 (adds penalties and unnecessary burden to registering people to vote) passed the Arizona House this week and will head to the Senate. (You can stop them there!)
Continue reading Voter Suppression Is ‘Theme’ for #AZLeg in 2019 (video)