On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill to require proof of citizenship for those registering to vote, 5-3 along party lines. HB2492, which would require county recorders to search databases for a registrant’s citizenship proof, passed the House at the end of February.
Activists present were outspoken, interrupting the meeting multiple times to the point that Chairman Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert) had to remove an individual from the room and call a five minute recess.
During public comment on HB2492 in committee, there was contention as to whether HB2492 violated the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) 2013 ruling in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. That ruling struck down Arizona’s law requiring voter registration applicants to be turned down if the registrant didn’t provide proof of citizenship, declaring that the federal voting laws established through the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993.
Arizona Association of Counties (AACo) Executive Director Jen Marson, quoted from SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in the 2013 ruling to argue that the ruling nullified HB2492. Marson insisted that passage of the law would effectively require counties to violate federal law.
“‘We hold that [NVRA] precludes Arizona from requiring a Federal Form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself. Arizona may, however, request anew that the [Election Assistance Commission] EAC include such a requirement among the Federal Form’s state-specific instructions, and may seek judicial review of the EAC’s decision under the Administrative Procedure Act,’” read Marson.
Those in favor of the bill argued that it complied with the SCOTUS ruling because voter registration would only be denied for those found to not be citizens, not those who merely lack citizenship proof.
Arizona Free Enterprise Club Deputy Director Greg Blackie rebutted that the bill wouldn’t violate the 2013 ruling because Scalia also said that the “NVRA doesn’t preclude states from denying registration based on information in their possession establishing the applicant’s ineligibility” — meaning, that those found to not be citizens could be rejected and those without any information confirming or denying their citizenship could be registered as federal-only voters.
“This bill carefully stays within the framework established by Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council,” insisted Blackie.
In addition to the nuance of compliance with SCOTUS, legislators emphasized that determining citizenship was a must-have for elections. Majority Whip Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu City) said that the bill had nothing to do with voter suppression.
“I don’t want somebody coming in here from a foreign country — particularly, you know, Italy for that matter — and just coming in and registering on a president-only vote, ballot, and they’re not even a US citizen. Because what that does, it nullifies the legal resident,” said Borrelli. “I don’t see the big burden here; I mean we want to make sure that a legal citizen has a right to vote and an illegal vote does not negate a legal vote. And that’s what it is, that’s about voter protection. It’s not about undermining the vote.”
Outspoken Democrats on the bill were rebuked by Petersen for going off the subject and impugning Republicans’ motives. Minority Whip Martin Quezada (D-Glendale) implied that Republicans were purposefully targeting individuals like the activists in attendance at the committee meeting because they feared them.
“What do those people look like? And why are those people being targeted if this bill passes? They’re afraid of you all right now. And this bill is targeting you all right now —” said Quezada.
“That’s absolutely ridiculous,” interjected Petersen. “Mr. Quezada, you’re impugning the motives of the sponsor of this bill and the members of the committee.”
Petersen stated that there are 36,000 people in Arizona registered to vote that haven’t proven citizenship status, noting that just recently an individual complained that the bill jeopardized their ability to vote in Arizona because they’re an illegal immigrant.
“I even saw a tweet from someone who said, ‘This bill is a risk to me! I’m a DACA person,’” stated Petersen. “We want everyone to vote, but we want citizens to vote. And it’s our job to make sure that happens.”
Legislature Democrats expressed that they won’t vote to restore precinct committeemen (PC) elections this year unless Republicans kill a bill requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration, one railbird informed AZ Free News. The passage of that election integrity bill out of committee, HB2492, on Thursday appeared to be a setback for Republicans hoping to correct a mistake made last week with the passage of HB2839.
As AZ Free News reported earlier this week, HB2839 gave a political party’s local county committee the sole authority to determine who gets appointed as PC. The bill intended to alleviate candidates’ qualification deadlines for this year’s primary election under the new redistricting. However, a section that allowed PC candidates to skip signature gathering also allowed local committee members to choose the PC appointments.
Republicans need supermajority in both the House and Senate to pass the emergency measures effectively reversing HB2839 and restoring PC elections for this year, HB2840 and SB17200. PCs are responsible for helping their party by providing aid with voter registration and voter assistance during elections, as well as nominating candidates to fill county or state office vacancies.
HB2492 sponsor, State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), sent out an email call-to-action acknowledging the murmurings that Democrats would kill PC restoration following the passage of his bill.
“Rumors are swirling at the Capitol that the Senate may try to trade HB2492 in exchange for Democrats voting for the PC election repeal so it gets an emergency clause,” wrote Hoffman. “We cannot horse trade with critical election integrity legislation!”
Reportedly, legislators failed to identify HB2839’s consequences for several reasons: some admitted to not reading the bill’s language and trusted their leadership’s take on the bill, while others just misread the bill completely.
The controversial proof-of-citizenship bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee along party lines, 5-3. Those who showed up to oppose the bill shouted, “Shame!” repeatedly at the committee after they passed the bill.
In response, State Senator Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert) thanked the crowd for making their approval of the bill easier.
“Thank you for showing us who you are,” said Petersen. “You’re making this easy, thank you.”
This week got off to a great start. On Monday, the Arizona House passed HB2492, a bill that would safeguard our voter rolls by ensuring that only qualified, U.S. citizens are registered to vote, able to vote in Presidential elections, and eligible to vote by mail.
But the good news didn’t stop there.
The House also passed SCR1012, known as the Arizonans for Voter ID Act. And with the Senate already passing this ballot referral late last week, that means the people of Arizona will now get to decide on universal voter ID in November.
This is an important step to ensure the integrity of our elections. “Easy to vote and hard to cheat” should be the benchmark for every election we have. And in Arizona, voters certainly have many ways to exercise their vote, including day-of-polls, early voting, and mail-in voting.
But the security of our elections has been a different story…
The Arizona House passed a bill to prevent illegal immigrants from voting, HB2492, along party lines on Monday, 31-26. The bill would impact federal-only voters heavily because that class of voters isn’t required by federal law to provide proof of citizenship. Federal-only voters had a significant impact in the 2020 election. The main exception made in this legislation would be for those who submit forms produced by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
The bill would require county recorders to rely on local, federal, and state databases to discern whether the applicant is a citizen. Refusal to comply would qualify officials for a class six felony. In the event that an applicant is discovered to be here illegally, officials must notify applicants of their rejection and refer the case to both the county attorney and attorney general for further investigation. Lack of citizenship proof, however, would only require election officials to notify the applicant of their rejection and offer them time to respond with proof of citizenship. A floor amendment removed the 30-day deadline applicants would’ve had to abide by to provide proof of citizenship.
Valid, unexpired driver’s licenses or nonoperating ID numbers would suffice for proof of location requirements to establish residency.
County recorders must also work with the secretary of state to present a list of all individuals who registered to vote and haven’t provided satisfactory evidence of citizenship by Halloween of this year. At that point, the attorney general would have until the end of next March to determine each applicant’s citizenship status and submit a report to the secretary of state, senate president, and house speaker.
As AZ Free News reported, the sponsor of the bill, State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), explained in the House Government and Elections Committee last month that there were over 11,000 individuals who didn’t provide a Documentary Proof of Citizenship (DPOC) to vote in the 2020 election. By contrast, there were about 1,700 individuals who didn’t provide proof of citizenship in 2018.
HB2492 received significant opposition from the illegal immigrant activist community. Those who harassed and stalked Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) into an Arizona State University (ASU) bathroom over her refusal to support President Joe Biden’s reconciliation bill.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
The Left is determined to shove their so-called “election reforms” down the throats of the American people. After gaining control of Congress, the US House passed House Resolution 1 (HR1) in March of last year.
But their federal takeover of elections has been held up in the U.S. Senate for months, so they have moved to ‘Plan B’—taking over the election process in Arizona.
Earlier this month, a group called the Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections—which is nothing more than a consortium of liberal groups here in Arizona—dropped a ballot initiative that might as well be a leftist wish list of election law changes. But while they’ll tell you that this measure is about “expanding voting rights,” make no mistake. Just like with HR1, this ballot measure is about eliminating all meaningful safeguards in our voting process.