Republican Arizona lawmaker: ‘Everybody shouldn’t be voting’
PHOENIX – A Republican Arizona lawmaker reportedly said one reason he supports bills some have criticized as voter suppression is that “everybody shouldn’t be voting.”
GOP state Rep. John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills said the two parties have a “fundamental difference” in how they approach voting rights, according to CNN.
“Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud,” he said in a story posted Thursday on the cable network’s website.
“Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote — but everybody shouldn’t be voting.”
Kavanagh suggested that excluding certain voters from the election process would be a good thing.
“Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they’re totally uninformed on the issues,” he said. “Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well.”
According to the CNN story, Arizona GOP legislators have introduced 24 bills that would add barriers to the voting process, second only to Georgia and among more than 250 such proposals nationwide.
Critics say the restrictions are designed to disproportionately suppress groups of voters that tend to prefer Democrats.
“They [Republicans] are trying to make it harder for everyone to vote based on the hope and desire that the people who it harms more and who it disenfranchises more are the people less likely to vote Republican,” Arizona state Rep. Athena Salman, an East Valley Democrat, said in the CNN story.
Republicans championing the changes say they’re trying to help restore public confidence to the U.S. election system, even though there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in 2020.
Polls suggest that many Republicans doubted the outcome of the election after then-President Donald Trump and his associates repeatedly declared, falsely, that he was the victim of illegal voting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.