Yesterday, Arizona House of Representatives’ Committee on Elections, chaired by Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale), held a special hearing to take testimony from the Maricopa County Recorder, Secretary of State and members of the general public about the fiasco that was last Tuesday’s Presidential Preference Election (PPE).
It’s been a week since Arizona’s PPE and the only thing made clear was legislative Republicans intent to avoid any blame that they themselves shoulder for Tuesday's circus.
Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita happily drove the Republican legislature’s bus over embattled Maricopa County Helen Purcell, while trying to distance themselves from any responsibility, including her own history of suppressing voters rights in Arizona.
Just a few weeks ago, Governor Ducey signed HB 2023 into law that would make felons of Arizonans who help others make sure their ballots get counted. Who was the bill sponsor? Yep, yesterday’s bus driver and ringmaster – Rep. Ugenti-Rita.
The Arizona Democratic Party doesn’t expect anything to come of Ugenti-Rita’s show. Why?
The Republican-led legislature has already refused to act on any common sense election reform proposals previously offered by Democrats and supported by good government groups. This hearing was just a show…and a bad one at that.
We shouldn't be surprised with people who campaign on hating government, are bad at running it.
In fact, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake may have said it best in a fundraising email he sent out this afternoon:
“If voter turnout in last Tuesday's Presidential Preference Election showed us anything it was that Republicans are a force to be reckoned with here in Arizona -- and we will never let up!”
You got that right, Senator.
What we can expect is that the Republican-led Legislature will double down on their central political goal of reshaping Arizona’s electorate by passing bills to undo the will of the people, including making it easier for them to override citizen-led initiatives and changing the makeup of Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission to make it easier for them to draw their own districts so they can pick their voters, not vice versa.
We can only wait to see who their bus runs over next.