Attacks on Voting Rights in Arizona

Lawmakers in Arizona have introduced a slew of bills that could make it harder for citizens to exercise their right to vote, including many restrictions on early and absentee voting. American Oversight is seeking information about the origins and effects of these proposals.

The 2020 election saw record turnout despite a deadly pandemic — but instead of embracing this civic victory, state legislators across the country have responded with legislation intended to make voting harder. Such is the case in Arizona, where lawmakers have introduced bills that include voting restrictions.

Legislative pushes to curtail the vote popped up across the country during the first months of 2021, with hundreds of bills restricting access introduced in January and February alone. Arizona is leading the charge, with proposals to restrict early and mail-in voting and even to allow the Legislature to overrule state election results and choose its own slate of presidential electors. 

Multiple proposed voting restrictions seek to make it harder to vote absentee. For example, SB 1069 would purge names of people who don’t vote frequently from the state’s permanent early voting list, which determines who automatically receives a ballot by mail. Another would eliminate that early voting list altogether. Yet another would require the envelopes of mail-in ballots to be notarized.

Even the bills that stand less of a chance of becoming law are detrimental to democracy, as they provide fuel for the lie of widespread voter fraud — a lie that supporters of former President Donald Trump leaned on to claim the election was “stolen,” and one that continues to be used to justify the disenfranchisement of thousands.

American Oversight seeking records from more than a dozen Arizona lawmakers connected to such anti-democratic proposals, including impact analyses of new bills and communications between bill sponsors and external parties, such as True the Vote and the Public Interest Legal Foundation, that are tied to voting-restriction efforts.

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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: 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.

Court Orders Arizona Senate to Immediately Release ‘Audit’ Records

August 3, 2021
An Arizona judge again rejected the Arizona Senate’s argument that records held by the firm Cyber Ninjas could be shielded from public release.

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.

Court Rejects Arizona Senate’s Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit for Records from Sham Election ‘Audit’

July 15, 2021
"It is difficult to conceive of a case with a more compelling public interest demanding public disclosure and public scrutiny," wrote the judge.

News Roundup: New Hearing in Lawsuit for Arizona ‘Audit’ Records

July 9, 2021
The more we learn about the origins and operations of the Arizona Senate's partisan recount of Maricopa County ballots, the clearer it becomes that those who instigated the exercise did not have the public's interest in mind. And as we outlined last week, we've already learned a great deal.

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.

American Oversight Sues Arizona Senate to Release Audit Records to the Public

May 19, 2021
The state Senate claims it doesn’t have “possession, custody or control” of key records of its own audit of Maricopa County ballots.

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.

News Roundup: The Big Lie Becomes Big Policy

March 25, 2021
The sheer number of voting-restriction bills currently floating in state legislatures makes it hard to keep track of where each proposal stands. But they all point to the fact that conservative leaders and fundraisers have increasingly adopted such restrictions as a primary policy position.

News Roundup: Spotlight on the States

March 18, 2021
It’s Sunshine Week, and we’re continuing to shine a light on the actions of state governments across the country to narrow access to our democracy or to use public office to serve the few.

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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