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Arizona lawmakers approved new voter restrictions that supporters said ensure only U.S. citizens can cast ballots but opponents said will wipe countless voters off the state’s rolls.
A unanimous Republican caucus approved House Bill 2492 on Wednesday in the Senate, sending the legislation to Gov. Doug Ducey for consideration.
While Arizona is one of the few states that already require proof of citizenship before registering to vote, residents can bypass that by registering for a federal-only ballot under the National Voter Registration Act and can vote on federal contests.
HB 2492 would require counties to check those individuals for citizenship against multiple databases. Counties must reject any federal applications if they find the individual is not a U.S. citizen. Any official knowingly ignoring the requirement could be charged with a Class 6 felony.
Democrats accused Republicans of seeking to purge the voter rolls as revenge for the 2020 general election, where President Joe Biden narrowly defeated former President Donald Trump.
“This is absurd, illogical and discriminatory,” Sen. Sally Ann Gonzales, D-Tucson, said.
Constitutional analysts told GOP lawmakers in another hearing the bill presents some issues that could face a legal challenge. Opponents were quick to note that in debate.
“We are voting on a bill that is unconstitutional and has a tremendous impact on the voters of the state of Arizona,” Sen. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix, said. “There are many provisions in this bill that are offensive, and that will have a negative impact on some communities more than others.”
Republicans said their legislation simply ensures U.S. citizens are the only ones voting in U.S. elections.
“The issue is making sure the citizens of this country are voting,” Sen. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, said. “If you’re not a citizen of this country, you’re not allowed to vote. We have over 35,000 people registered to vote where we are not certain whether they’re citizens or not.”
The bill passed along partisan lines. Democrats gathered in Phoenix on Thursday to pressure Ducey to veto the legislation.
US Senators Question Motives of AT&T For Refusing To Renew OAN Contract…Cite AT&T Board Chairman’s Ties To Dominion Voting Machines
Two U.S. Senators, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, have written an official letter to AT&T inquiring into its politically-motivated decision to cut One America News Network (OANN) from DirectTV. Cruz and Lee both press the AT&T Board of Directors for answers regarding the “personal financial” influences that may have swayed the company’s decision.
The decision to not renew its contract with OANN was announced by DirecTV in mid-January. DirecTV, which is primarily run by AT&T, has a contract with OANN that is set to expire in early April.
In response to this major decision, President Trump spoke out at an Arizona rally, saying, “This is horrible. This is a great network. These are great people. I watch it all the time and you really get the truth. And they want to cancel them now because of politics – for purely political reasons. It’s a disgrace what’s going on.”
“I don’t think that people are gonna stand for it,” added Trump.”Maybe what we should do is not use AT&T.”
On Tuesday, Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz submitted a letter to the members of the AT&T Board of Directors, expressing “grave concern for the future of journalism and political discourse in America.”
They then listed six specific facts/concerns regarding the issue:
- One American News Network (“OAN”) is being sued for alleged defamation by Dominion Voting Systems.
- Dominion Voting Systems is owned by Staple Street Capital.
- William Kennard is on the executive board of Staple Street Capital
- William Kennard is also the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors
- AT&T owns 70% of DirecTV, and controls two seats on DirecTV’s board of directors
- DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with OANN.
The main concern pointed out by Lee and Cruz is that William Kennard, the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors and executive board member of Staple Street Capital, is pushing to end its contract with OANN to benefit his personal financial interests.
The Senators then request a response to the following question within 10 business days: “Did any employee or agent of AT&T at any time convey or suggest to any employee or agent of DirecTV an instruction or request not to renew OANN?”
Read the full letter below:
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In Wisconsin, Republicans move forward with election integrity plans
The first of what will likely be several new election proposals is moving forward at the Wisconsin Capitol.
Sen. Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, along with Rep. Barbara Dittrich, R-Oconomowoc, on Monday introduced four pieces of legislation they say will close many of the loopholes used during the 2020 election in the state.
“After every election, we figure out what didn’t work as planned and we fix it. These bills will fix the problems that have led to unprecedented questions about the last presidential election,” Sen. Bernier said.
LRB-5268 deals with pre-election issues. It focuses on pre-election training for clerks, as well as maintenance for both the state’’s voting machines and Wisconsin’s voting rolls.LRB-5269 deals with Election Day issues. This legislation deals with absentee ballots and electronic voting equipment. Specifically, it clarifies the role of a Special Voting Deputy, bans the use of private resources for election administration, and prohibits “ballot curing.”LRB-5270 handles post-election issues. This legislation requires that formal complaints are resolved within 60 in most cases, and requires a post-election report from the Legislative Audit Bureau.LRB-4680 deals directly with the classification of an indefinitely confined voters. The idea is to return this practice to its original purpose by allowing those whose long-term physical condition would not allow them to vote in person at the polls. It also requires a separate form to apply for indefinitely confined status, to avoid mistakenly asking to be classified as indefinitely confined. And it also requires indefinitely confined voters to provide a current photo ID, or the last four numbers of their Social Security number.
Bernier said all of the proposals come from recommendations in the Legislative Audit Bureau’s post-election audit, or the comprehensive audit from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.
“Anyone who opposes these bills falls into two camps, there is no other characterization,” Bernier said “Either they wish to impugn the integrity of our highly respected non-partisan audit bureau, or they wish to undermine faith in democracy by lying to the public about election administration for their own personal gain. I will not stand for either.”
Rep. Dittrich said none of the proposals would change the outcome of the 2020 election, nor are they intended to.
Dittrich said voters simply must be able to trust in the electoral process in the state once again.
“Our election integrity must be paramount, as I have shared with constituents from the beginning,” Dittrich said. “The Legislature must find ways to ensure our integrity and security going forward into the upcoming election cycle. This bill, along with others in the initiative, take a logical step forward, based on sound investigations and legal solutions.”
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