Tired of elections being cheated and voters disenfranchised? Well, so are Arizona lawmakers. And one is even making a new law about it.
Enter Republican state Senator Jake Hoffman and Senate Bill 1695.
According to the proposed bill, it would ensure that if voters are indeed disenfranchised or denied their right to vote during an election, a complete redo of that election will be required.
Now, of course, a few specifications must be met.
Firstly, the bill only applies to counties where at least one million residents (and potential voters) live. Secondly, it must be determined that either election laws were violated or “violations resulted in the disenfranchisement of at least 1 percent of the eligible voters in the county.”
Oh, and this only applies to primary or general elections in the state.
If all of these can be applied, “the County Board of Supervisors, County Recorder and County Officer in Charge of Elections shall hold a new primary or general election,” according to the bill.
And so far, the bill has a good shot at being passed. In fact, the Senate Government Committee has already approved it. This took place on February 16.
Why wouldn’t it?
After all, as Hoffman points out, it’s not it’s a one-sided bill where one party or the other benefits from it. In fact, it’s a protection for ALL voters. If you cast a vote, this law is for you. To ensure that your voice is heard, your vote is counted, and that “we the people” are actually fulfilling our duties in deciding our elected officials.
As Hoffman says, “You should not ever be disenfranchised because election officials violate the law.”
And he’s right.
It doesn’t matter what side of the political aisle you find yourself on these days; I think we can all agree that as American citizens, we have a right to vote, and to have that vote matter. To have it be denied or ignored is a blatant violation of our constitutional laws, no matter who ends up benefiting from it.
And in Arizona, in particular, voters are tired of having this kind of disenfranchisement going on.
I mean, do you remember the general election of 2020? There were some massive inconsistencies, with thousands upon thousands of votes not counted, literally found in the trash, and others that were clearly fraudulent tallied in their place.
Then there were the midterm elections of 2022. In Arizona, these can only be called an absolute clown show.
Suspicious printing errors, malfunctioning voting machines, closed polling locations, hours-long lines, and rejected ballot after rejected ballot ruled the day.
As numerous reports can attest, some 64 locations in Maricopa County alone had malfunctioning machines leading to “misread” ballots and lines so long voters couldn’t get through the doors before closing time.
And what’s more, data shows that 59 out of those 64 just happened to be in areas noted as “Heavy R” or Republican-leaning districts.
The violations and inconsistencies were so flagrant, in fact, that even Democrats believed there was a great injustice done on that day. A Rasmussen poll taken in the state after the fact resulted in some 69 percent of Democrats saying they believed that Arizonans were denied the “sacred right to vote.”
To say voters were disenfranchised is a complete understatement. And yet, winning Democratic officials say nothing wrong happened. Everything was fine, and the people were heard.
No one believes that anymore.
Hence, Hoffman’s proposal for this new law.
Some Democrats might not like the idea of the law now, as it could deter them from using similarly tricky tactics come 2024 when it’s clear Joe Biden should not remain in the White House. But I guarantee you that if the time ever came when enough radical right-wingers successfully disenfranchised voters of the opposing party, there will be cries of anguish heard and a similar law proposed.
Hopefully, Arizonan lawmakers see this law for what it is, a protection of our constitutional rights. And perhaps other battleground states will follow suit.