Arizona bill would allow state legislature to repeal election results after review

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Arizona’s legislature is raising eyebrows following the proposal by one of its most conservative members to overhaul the state’s entire voting procedures and allow legislators to overturn the results of a primary or a general election.

State Representative John Fillmore (R) has proposed eliminating almost all early and absentee voting in his bill, and would require people to vote in their home precincts, rather than at vote centers scattered throughout the state, The Hill reported.

While many conservatives have called for voting reforms similar to those, the part that caused a commotion is a clause that would require the state legislature to hold a special post-election session to review the results and the voting processes that led to them, and then to simply vote to “accept or reject the election results,” effectively giving the legislature a veto on any election within the state.

The proposal came after President Joe Biden won the election in 2020, becoming the first Democrat since Bill Clinton to win Arizona. Biden’s win was a nail-biter, winning with a threshold of 11,000 votes, which is roughly three-tenths of one percentage point.

This has led to a sort of Republican civil war (in multiple states) between those who claim fraud and want to effectively overturn the election, and the mainstream, such as Governor Doug Ducey (R), who say that the battle was fought and lost, and that it’s time to move on with life. An audit by the firm Cyber Ninjas has failed to discover any evidence of fraud, and as of writing, no meaningful evidence has been produced that will hold up in court.

That hasn’t stopped Fillmore, however, who insisted on Wednesday during a committee hearing that he still does not believe the reports that consistently fail to turn up evidence of fraud while simultaneously insisting that his refusal to accept the election has nothing at all to do with the party of the man who ultimately won:

“I don’t care what the press says. I don’t trust ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox or anybody out there. Everybody’s lying to me and I feel like I have a couple hundred ex-wives hanging around me. This is not a President Biden thing. This is not a the other red-headed guy thing. We should have voting in my opinion in person, one day, on paper, with no electronic means and hand counting that day. We need to get back to 1958-style voting,”

Arizona has already seen major efforts to reform its voting process in the last year, and those efforts by state Republicans have continued into the current session. The largest target has been absentee ballots, which are used by the great majority of Arizona voters, alongside bills to make voters vote only in their home precincts, and bills to change how election officials scrub voter rolls, all of which have been proposed separate from Fillmore’s bill.

The odds of Fillmore’s bill going through are currently considered low, but as The Hill noted, it may be a sign of a change in the winds regarding the willingness of some Republicans to embrace the idea of a legislative veto over elections.

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