GOP bill would override will of Arizona voters, elections boss Hobbs says

Feb 3, 2021, 1:00 PM
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Proposed legislation to alter the way Arizona manages elections ignores the voters’ voices, the state’s top elections official said.

One bill from the Republican-controlled state Legislature would allow lawmakers to overturn presidential election results and that, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Wednesday, isn’t right.

“[Rep.] Shawna Bolick’s bill 100% allows the Legislature, under any circumstances … they can convene with a majority vote and choose new electors. That is an overturning of the will of the voters,” Hobbs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

Bolick said her bill, “would give the Arizona Legislature back the power it delegated to certify the electors. It is a good, democratic check and balance.”

By Arizona law, the certified winner of a presidential election is awarded all the state’s Electoral College votes, and the Legislature cannot overturn those results.

Joe Biden won Arizona’s 11 electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election, taking the popular vote by about 10,500 out of 3.3 million cast, to become the first Democrat to win the state since 1996.

Republicans say their bills are aimed at boosting trust in Arizona’s elections and ensuring they run more smoothly. But Democrats and voting rights advocates see the legislation as attempts to make it harder for people to cast a ballot, a burden they say will fall especially hard on people of color and those with low incomes.

“We do need to have a conversation about restoring some of the lost confidence in our systems, but that conversation needs to be focused about the reasons it was lost,” Hobbs, a Democrat, said.

“I think what you’ve seen over the last few months is many of these very same legislators screaming about nonexistent fraud … kind of using that now as an excuse to really roll back a lot of progress we’ve made in terms of our elections and how voters in Arizona can vote.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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GOP bill would override will of Arizona voters, elections boss Hobbs says