By Corinne Murdock |
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.”