In the same way they did in Georgia, Democrats and their allies appear intent on vilifying Republicans as racist for passing some very reasonable election reform bills in Arizona.
On Tuesday, the Arizona House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 1485, which changes the designation of the Permanent Early Voting List to Early Voting List for those who automatically receive a ballot by mail.
It requires county recorders to remove voters from the list who have not returned mail ballots in the previous two election cycles, for both primary and general elections.
When questioned by a reporter on Monday at a news conference outside of the Capitol in Phoenix whether SB 1485 would result in voter suppression, the bill’s sponsor, Republican state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, responded, “Arizona is far and above one of the most convenient, accessible places to vote.”
“There are lots of ways to vote,” she added. “For the PEVL [Permanent Early Voting List] list, if you’re removed, you have the ability to vote in person early, you have the ability to vote in person the day of, and you have the ability to respond to the notice, you have the ability if you neglected to do that to sign back up again.
“If you don’t choose to exercise those opportunities to vote, that’s your choice,” Ugenti-Rita said.
It removes a voter from the EVL if the voter fails to vote by early ballot in both the primary and the general election for two consecutive primary and general elections! pic.twitter.com/ZErnBELlHn
— AZSenateRepublicans (@AZSenateGOP) April 21, 2021
The lawmaker rejected the notion the legislation is in any way racist.
Ugenti-Rita pointed out that California removes people from the permanent vote by mail list automatically if they miss four elections, whereas the proposed Arizona law requires a notice be sent out to voters before removing them from the list.
“Where is the outrage? Why aren’t you calling them a bunch of names?” Ugenti-Rita asked the reporters. “Your argument is inconsistent.”
“You don’t get to mischaracterize [SB 1485] and lie about it. You can disagree with it. You can point to the page number and line item on the bill that you have a problem with. That’s America, and that’s not a problem,” she said.
“But you don’t get to label everybody who may support it as racist. You’re going to be called out. We’re not going to be intimidated,” Ugenti-Rita added.
Following the bill’s passage in the House on Tuesday, the Arizona House Democrats tweeted from their account, “Jim Crow 2.0 passes on a party-line vote.”
— Arizona House Democrats (@AZHouseDems) April 21, 2021
In other words, the same talking point as Georgia Democrats.
Democratic House Minority Leader state Rep. Reginald Bolding said during the floor debate, “On a day when people of color witnessed a small measure of justice with the conviction of Derek Chauvin, here in Arizona we are taking a step backwards by now making it even more difficult for these same people to participate in democracy.”
“On a day when people of color witnessed a small measure of justice with the conviction of Derek Chauvin, here in Arizona we are taking a step backwards by now making it even more difficult for these same people to participate in democracy.” @reginaldbolding on #sb1485 pic.twitter.com/a08YSiu5d0
— Arizona House Democrats (@AZHouseDems) April 20, 2021
Arizona Democratic Party chairwoman state Rep. Raquel Terán retweeted NBA star LeBron James who also linked the vote to the Derek Chauvin trial.
Terán urged people to contact GOP Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona to tell him to veto the bill.
When @KingJames retweets about your Leader! “Do not stop. We cannot let up. Not for one second.” CALL Gov. @dougducey and ask that he veto this bill and every voter suppression bill that comes to his desk-602-542-4331. @AZHouseDems @reginaldbolding @azdemparty https://t.co/HMPtnalazu
— Raquel Terán #BlackLivesMatter (@RaquelTeran) April 21, 2021
The AP reported dozens of Arizona business leaders, including the owner of the Arizona Cardinals, are calling on Ducey to do just that.
The Democrats’ whole argument is ridiculous.
The @AZHouseDems are using the same 🚮 playbook Dems tried to use in Georgia.
— Drew Sexton (@drewsexton23) April 20, 2021
There is not a single racist thing about the bill, which is simply aimed at limiting the number of ballots that could potentially be fraudulently voted.
Voting by mail is a convenience, and Arizonans are certainly capable of either voting in one of two consecutive election cycles to continue to receive a ballot automatically or responding to a notice via a postcard in the mail, if they haven’t, in order to stay on the vote by mail list.
SB1485 and HB2309 are an attack to democracy and the first amendment. Voter suppression and silencing people fighting for justice are intimidation tools targeted towards black/ brown communities, and by no mistake an intent to impact the power we’ve built in az. pic.twitter.com/MQyhMC7oOU
— Máxima Guerrero (@MaximaGuerrero) April 21, 2021
The AP reported that SB 1485 will go back to the Senate for another vote due to minor changes made in the House and, if it passes, to Ducey’s desk for signature.
He should sign this perfectly reasonable election integrity measure posthaste.