Arizona’s Anti-Democracy Legislation

American Oversight is investigating the origins and potential effects of legislation that could take the power to elect the president away from voters and put it in the hands of state lawmakers.

The 2020 election saw record turnout despite a deadly pandemic, thanks to increased access to absentee voting. But instead of embracing this civic victory, some state legislators have responded with legislation that could limit democratic representation. Such is the case in Arizona, where lawmakers are leading the charge with legislation designed to undercut voters’ power

One piece of legislation, House Bill 2720, introduced by Arizona Rep. Shawnna Bolick, would allow the legislature to overrule the state’s popular election results and choose its own slate of presidential electors. If enacted, this would undermine the democratic process by allowing lawmakers to simply overturn the will of Arizona voters. 

The bill is a continuation of previous efforts by Trump supporters in Arizona and other states to overturn the results of the 2020 election, including the submission of phony electoral vote certificates to Congress. American Oversight has obtained seven such fake certificates, signed by Trump supporters purporting to be “alternate” electors for Arizona and six other states.

The legislation would also make it easier to tie up election results in the courts by allowing challengers to demand a trial by jury and barring appellate courts and trial judges from throwing out a case, even for lack of evidence, before it is heard by jurors. 

American Oversight is seeking records from Bolick as well as more than a dozen other Arizona lawmakers sponsoring legislation that threatens democracy in the state — including a slew of voting rights restrictions. 

We’ve requested assessments or impact analyses of the proposed legislation, as well as communications between legislation sponsors and external parties with ties to voter-restriction efforts such as True the Vote and the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

Updates

Why You (Still) Should Not Trust the Arizona Senate’s Final ‘Audit’ Report

September 23, 2021
Officials have said that the much-delayed final report on the purported findings from the Senate’s election-undermining political stunt will be released on Friday, Sept. 24.

News Roundup: The Evolution of the Big Lie

September 16, 2021
This week saw two major victories for transparency in Arizona and Pennsylvania — and new developments in the partisan election investigation in Wisconsin.

News Roundup: The Big Lie’s Infiltration of State Governments

September 3, 2021
On Tuesday, the Arizona Senate released tens of thousands of pages of records related to its partisan election "audit."

News Roundup: Transparency Is Coming, Even Amid ‘Audit’ Report Delays

August 27, 2021
As the Arizona Senate continues its efforts to delay transparency in its election "audit," its contractors have introduced yet more delays of their own.

News Roundup: Victories for Transparency and Preparations for Disinformation

August 20, 2021
As the "audit" has dragged on for months, the Arizona Senate has resisted transparency about the operation.

Arizona Appeals Court Denies State Senate’s Attempt to Shield Cyber Ninjas ‘Audit’ Records from Public

August 19, 2021
The ruling upholds the Superior Court’s order to produce records by Aug. 31, and comes as the “audit” team prepares its draft report to submit to the Senate.

Arizona Appeals Court Denies Stay of Audit Records Lawsuit, Grants Limited Stay of Document Release Order

August 11, 2021
While the limited stay is another delay in much-needed transparency over the so-called audit, the expedited deadline is an important acknowledgment that the case centers on a matter of enormous public interest.

News Roundup: A Victory for Transparency in Arizona

July 15, 2021
An Arizona court dealt a severe blow to the state Senate's attempt to keep key documents related to its sham election "audit" hidden from the public.

News Roundup: What We Already Know About the Arizona ‘Audit’

July 1, 2021
It's already clear that any "findings" from the partisan operation will be dubious at best.

Newly Released Arizona ‘Audit’ Records Contain Service Agreements, Emails to Senate President Fann

June 22, 2021
The Arizona Senate released additional records related to its partisan “audit,” revealing new details about the involvement of various outside companies as well as the role of Senate President Karen Fann in preparing for the operation.

News Roundup: From the Trump White House to Wisconsin

June 17, 2021
New emails released to Congress show the former president exerting pressure on Justice Department officials to support his baseless fraud claims. The lies haven't disappeared.

News Roundup: Sham Audits and the Fruits of Disinformation

May 27, 2021
American Oversight's fight for transparency in the Arizona Senate's sham "audit" of ballots cast in Maricopa County continued this week, with the court on Thursday scheduling an oral argument for July 7 in our lawsuit seeking the release of planning documents and records of related communications.

Arizona Audit Investigation Update: Arizona Senate Begins Releasing Fann’s Emails to American Oversight

May 25, 2021
American Oversight has obtained records in our investigation of the state Senate’s partisan audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results. arizona

News Roundup: The Arizona Audit’s Ongoing Threat to Democracy

May 20, 2021
Every week seems to bring alarming and often incredible news from the Arizona election audit. American Oversight is now suing the Arizona Senate for related records.

News Roundup: The Jan. 6 Attack and the Big Lie

May 13, 2021
Top officials testified this week in a hearing about the deadly Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, one of the most glaring consequences of the stolen election lie.

News Roundup: Voting Rights and Trump Accountability

May 7, 2021
In addition to focusing on threats to voting rights and democracy, American Oversight has also been working to hold Trump officials accountable for their actions.

News Roundup: What’s Going On in Arizona?

April 30, 2021
Conspiracy theorists, former President Trump himself, and supporters of his lie that the election was stolen continue to cling to the “audit” in Maricopa County as another potential way to overturn the vote.

News Roundup: From Georgia to Arizona

April 8, 2021
Like Georgia's new voting restrictions, a partisan election audit in Arizona is predicated on the lie about widespread voter fraud.

Investigations Update: Covid-19 Outbreaks in Meatpacking Facilities, New Arizona Voting-Restriction Bills

March 2, 2021
See the latest in our investigations into worker safety and health in meatpacking facilities during the coronavirus pandemic, voting restrictions in the states, and Stephen Miller’s influence over immigration policy.
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