The Arizona Senate passed a joint resolution on Wednesday aimed at stopping the federal government through House Resolution 1 — the For the People Act of 2021 — or other legislation interfering in how the state conducts its elections.
House Concurrent Resolution 2023 had already passed the Arizona House of Representatives last month on a strict party line vote, with all Republicans voting for it and all Democrats voting against it.
The same was true in the state Senate.
In a Wednesday news release, the resolution’s sponsor, GOP state Rep. Jake Hoffman, relayed that HCR 2023 came in direct response to the U.S. House of Representative’s passage of HR 1 in March.
“The ‘Corrupt Politicians Act’ is the most dangerous piece of legislation to come out of DC in generations,” Hoffman said. “The bill reflects the Democrats’ attempt to rig America’s electoral system in their favor and strip voters of their civil right to have their vote matter.
“The Constitution delegates the power over elections to the legislature and we intend to fiercely oppose any effort by corrupt politicians in Washington, D.C. to interfere with our sovereign authority. The Arizona legislature stands unwaveringly against the Democrats’ unconstitutional power grab and attempt to federalize our state’s elections process,” he added.
— AZ House Republicans (@AZHouseGOP) April 8, 2021
The resolution reads, in part, “H.R. 1 strikes at the very heart of the arrangement that gave rise to this nation, namely that states are sovereign and free from interference and the intrusion of power from the government of the United States absent clear constitutional authorization.”
Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona supported HCR 2023.
“While most of the country has some doubt as to the integrity of our elections, the Democrats want to ensure that we never have an honest election again,” Biggs said in the news release.
“If we do not stop H.R. 1, it will become increasingly difficult to restore trust in American elections.”
Congrats to Arizona lawmakers for signing HCR 2023 today — AZ is now the first state in the nation to formally condemn HR 1!
States across the nation oppose the Corrupt Politicians Act — they should follow AZ’s lead.
— Heritage Action (@Heritage_Action) April 7, 2021
Democratic state Sen. Martin Quezada explained that the reason he voted against HCR 2023 and supports HR 1 is to stop “voter suppression.”
“The people of the United States are tired of #VoterSuppression and we see the discriminatory intent behind it,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
— Sen. Martín Quezada (@SenQuezada29) April 7, 2021
Two of the nation’s top election experts — The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky and National Review’s John Fund — along with GOP Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft argued in an online event hosted by Regent University’s Robertson School of Government last month that HR 1 would have a disastrous impact on U.S. elections.
Von Spakovsky and Fund — who co-authored the 2012 book, “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk” — both pointed out that HR 1 would overturn voter I.D. laws, which are present in 34 states.
Other changes mandated by the bill would be same-day voter registration, ballot harvesting, acceptance of mail-in ballots up to 10 days after the election and automatic voter registration.
Automatic voter registration would mean large portions of the estimated millions of illegal immigrants living in America would be registered to vote if they have any interaction with a government agency, such as obtaining a driver’s license or attending a state university.
HR 1 directs that no illegal alien can be civilly or criminally prosecuted for being registered to vote, Von Spakovsky said, which he argued means Democrats fully expect that to happen.
“This [bill] is not something that will inspire confidence in our elections. It will breed cynicism, mistrust and despair,” Fund said.
Von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, stated, “HR 1 is the worst bill I’ve ever seen and the most dangerous bill I have ever seen when it comes to elections.”
Further, Ashcroft contended that HR 1 is unconstitutional, citing Articles I and II that grant the states power to conduct elections.
He also pointed to multiple constitutional amendments, including the 15th (providing that voting rights would not be denied based on race), 17th (elaborating on how U.S. senators are elected), 19th (guaranteeing women the right to vote) and 26th (lowering the voting age to 18), as proof that when the federal government wanted to change election laws nationwide, it had to do so through the amendment process.
HR 1 “is an unconstitutional encroachment upon the right of states in its current form,” Ashcroft said.
The Senate Rules and Administration Committee held a hearing on HR 1 in March.
Fund anticipates if the Democrats garner enough support for the bill, a vote could come as early as this month, but some change to the filibuster rule would likely be needed for it to pass.