Arizona leads country with ‘voter suppression’ bills, institute finds

Feb 19, 2021, 4:55 AM | Updated: 6:23 am
(AP Photo/Matt York, File)...
(AP Photo/Matt York, File)
(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

PHOENIX – Arizona leads the country with 19 Republican-proposed bills that would place restrictions on voters, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan law and policy institute.

Some of the 19 GOP-backed proposals would limit or eliminate no-excuse absentee ballots, make it harder to obtain an absentee ballot, impose stricter ID requirements and even give the legislature the right to pick presidential electors despite election results.

Critics say the bills override the will of voters, restrict access and ultimately voter turn out.

“We believe that expanding access is better for Arizona, better for democracy, better for everybody,” Democrat Senate Minority Whip Martín Quezada said.

“The public wants to participate in our elections, they want to have greater access, they want to have fewer barriers and we are the ones that are pushing those ideas.”

Quezada claims voter restriction is a strategy the GOP has used for many years, this time using false voter fraud theories from the turbulent 2020 November election to push the measures.

In an attempt to “fight back,” Democrats have introduced their own set of “pro-democracy” legislation.

In partnership with Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and State Rep. Athena Salmon, Quezada introduced a series of bills he claims would modernize, protect and increase access to the voting process.

Unlike the GOP-backed bills, the Democratic legislation faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled legislature.

Quezada hopes Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will step in and veto restrictive bills if they make it to his desk.

One of the GOP-backed bills, meant to purge the state’s permanent early voter list, has already failed in the Senate.

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Arizona leads country with ‘voter suppression’ bills, institute finds