Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Sunshine Is Best Disinfectant: AZ Legislature Delays Voter Suppression Discussion

wave05-sm72

Yesterday, the Judiciary Committee of the Arizona House of Representatives was scheduled to discuss repealing last year’s omnibus voter suppression bill (HB2305). Since thousands of Arizona citizens had signed petitions to stop implementation of HB2305 and put voter suppression on the 2014 ballot, sneaky legislators had devised a plan to do an end-run around voters by repealing the destined-to-fail-at-the-polls bill and replace it with several individual voter suppression bills. (After all, we can’t let citizens decide issues as important as who gets to vote or how measures are put on the ballot.)

Thanks to a widely distributed press release from the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee, news of Republican legislators’ Voter Suppression Plan B flew out across the blogosphere on Wednesday, resulting in much citizen– and news media— interest.

Overnight, hundreds of concerned Arizona voters called and wrote to members of the committee urging them to respect the will of the voters and let them have their say on HB2305 in November. Dozens of people showed up to speak at the hearing as well as three television news crews. Judiciary Chairman Eddie Farnsworth then told the amassed crowd that he was holding his repeal bill (HB2196). He has since rescheduled the hearing on his bill for next week.

Proving once again that sunshine is the best disinfectant and voter suppression is a topic best discussed in the dead of night with no witnesses, Farnsworth decided not to open discussions with TV cameras rolling and citizens watching. (Personally, I am keenly interested in how Voter Suppression Plan B unfolds, since my representative– LD9’s Eathn Orr– is on the judiciary committee. Republican Orr, who bills himself as a “moderate” even though he opposes women’s rights, represents a highly competitive Tucson district. Will Orr stand with the Teapublicans on voter suppression or with his constituents?)

Below is the follow-up press release from Protect Your Right to Vote.

Update! House Committee Vote on Repeal of HB2305 Postponed

Intense Public Pressure, Media Interest Put on Committee Members to Not Circumvent Protect Your Right to Vote Referendum

PHOENIX – A groundswell of public opposition and intense media interest today resulted in a legislators calling a time-out on their plans to revive extensive roadblocks for voters that had been put on hold because of a successful citizen’s referendum.

The House Judiciary Committee was scheduled this morning to hear a measure to repeal last year’s omnibus get-tough-on-voters bill, House Bill 2305. Backers of the onerous voter and elections restrictions have said that they intend to then pass HB2305’s provisions as separate bills to circumvent the Protect Your Right to Vote Referendum.

Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts called this proposed legislative trick “skullduggery” and “an end-run around voters.”

Overnight, hundreds of concerned Arizona voters called and wrote to members of the committee urging them to respect the will of the voters and let them have their say on HB2305 in November. Dozens of people showed up to speak at the hearing as well as three television news crews. Judiciary Chairman Eddie Farnsworth then told the amassed crowd that he was holding his repeal bill (HB2196). He has since rescheduled the hearing on his bill for next week.

“I don’t blame politicians for wanting a less intense spotlight for their efforts to stick it to voters, but the public is outraged by how these efforts to curb participation in elections and we won’t go away,” said Robbie Sherwood, executive director of ProgressNow Arizona and a spokesman for the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee.

 

BACKGROUND ON HB 2305:

  • HB2305 would make it a crime for volunteers to collect and drop off ballots at the polls.  These efforts help elderly, homebound, disabled and working voters to participate in elections.
  • HB2305 would kick voters off the Permanent Early Voting List if they fail to vote in two consecutive elections – both primary and general. This would decrease participation and disproportionally impact newly registered Latino, young and Independent voters who are not likely to vote if removed from this list.
  • HB2305 would keep third parties off the ballot by raising the signature requirement to put a candidate on the ballot for all political parties except Republicans. Ballot access for third party candidates will become unlikely, reducing voter choice. For example, the number of signatures required for Libertarian candidates would increase by 4,000 percent.
  • HB2305 makes it more difficult for Arizona citizens to engage in direct democracy or overturn bad laws passed by the Legislature through citizen initiatives. By instituting a host of minor technical barriers – including the margin size on petitions – that can be challenged in court, politicians are trying to take away an important right that’s been part of Arizona’s constitution since statehood.

 

About the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee: The Committee is a coalition of more than 25 non-profit organizations that worked together to put HB2305 to a vote of the people in November.  The Committee gathered over 146,000 signatures in three months to refer HB2305 to the ballot. These include civic engagement organizations, Latino voter engagement groups, conservation organizations, animal welfare groups and labor organizations.  It also includes leaders and members of the Libertarian, Green and Democratic parties.

 

One comment on “Sunshine Is Best Disinfectant: AZ Legislature Delays Voter Suppression Discussion

  1. Pingback: Tucson Rep. Ethan Orr Votes FOR Voter Suppression Bill HB2196 | Tucson Progressive

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

Follow Me on Twitter

Follow Tucson Progressive on WordPress.com

Follow Me on Facebook

Follow Me on Instagram

There was an error retrieving images from Instagram. An attempt will be remade in a few minutes.

%d bloggers like this: