By Corinne Murdock |
This week, the House Government Committee narrowly passed two bills to further secure elections. HB2236 would prohibit automatic voter registration, and HB2241 would require anyone dropping off an early ballot to either show their ID or sign that they have permission to do so for the individual who completed the ballot; it’s a class six felony if they refuse. State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) introduced both bills, securing passage along party lines, 7-6.
Minority Leader Reginald Bolding (D-Laveen) insisted that the bills were “anti-voter.” Bolding is running for secretary of state; his major platform points include the fact that he’s running against former President Donald Trump’s pick for the position and that he’d be Arizona’s first black secretary of state, two qualities that bear striking similarities to President Joe Biden’s must-haves for his next Supreme Court pick.
House and Senate Republicans’ attempts to further secure elections over the past few years have caused controversy with left-leaning communities.
This week, over 200 “faith leaders” issued a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to relocate the next Super Bowl from Arizona over the state’s “disease of racism, and, particularly, its symptom of voter suppression.” They cited bills passed last year: SB1003, which requires voters to rectify their signature by 7 pm on election night; SB1485, which cleans up the early voters list; and SB1819, which formed a special committee on the election audit. That final bill, SB1819, was overturned by the Arizona Supreme Court due to violations of the state constitution’s single subject rule.
As another reason for moving the Super Bowl away from Arizona, the group cited Senator Krysten Sinema’s (D-AZ) opposition to the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. Sinema refused to support the legislation because doing so would have scrapped the filibuster. Unlike Sinema, Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) came out in support of ending the filibuster to pass the legislation to federalize elections.
Although the individuals signed onto the letter identified themselves as faith leaders, it is unclear whether they claim to be faith leaders in relation to the Christian Bible considering the nature of their doctrines.
If the NFL remains consistent with their decision-making, it’s unlikely that this latest letter will have any influence on Arizona hosting the next Superbowl. Last May, Bolding made the exact same demands of Goodell in a letter of his own, even hearkening back to the state’s historic refusal to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which the NFL ignored.