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Mon Jan 31, 2022, 10:38 AM

Arizona GOP: Who needs the popular vote?

(Salon) Arizona Republicans opened the legislative session this month with a slew of new voting bills, including legislation that would allow the GOP-led state legislature to "reject" election results.

Arizona Republicans, who already approved numerous new voting restrictions last year, are turning many of the GOP's conspiracy theories about Donald Trump's election loss into legislation even after their "forensic audit" of results in Maricopa County failed to turn up any evidence of fraud. Perhaps the most far-reaching bill was introduced by Republican state Rep. John Fillmore, whose legislation could open the door for the Republican-led legislature to overturn election results for no reason at all. The bill already has 15 Republican co-sponsors, including state Rep. Mark Finchem, the Trump-endorsed secretary of state candidate seeking to take over the state's elections.

Fillmore's 35-page House Bill 2596 includes a section that would require the legislature to hold a special session to "review the ballot tabulating process" and then decide whether to "accept or reject the election results." The legislature does not have to have a specific reason to reject the results. If the legislature rejects the election results, "any qualified elector" can go to court to "request that a new election be held."

"This bill is probably one of the biggest threats that we have seen here to our democracy," Arizona House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding, a Democrat, said in an interview with Salon. "Nearly half the [Republican] caucus believes that the legislature should be the final decider, which goes against everything that we stand for when we talk about election integrity, democracy and what it means to truly be a republic." ...........(more)


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