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

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