Arizona's chief election's official called out a fellow Democrat from her own state as she pleaded with Senate Democrats to pass the For the People Act to protect voters from GOP voter suppression.
"Democracy is under siege in Arizona. As part of the 'big lie' that Republicans have been pushing about electoral fraud, they're conducting an "audit" in our largest county, Maricopa, to dig up nonexistent evidence. It's an absurd spectacle. The proliferation of conspiracy theories is staggering: ballots are being disqualified because of Sharpies; ballots were shipped in from China; ballots were burned in a chicken-farm fire," Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wrote in a new Washington Post op-ed.
"My office won a court order to send impartial observers to the audit, and I try to keep the public informed about its dangers. For insisting on straightforward truths, I and my family have received death threats. Armed protesters have shown up at my home. Twice, I've been assigned a security detail to protect me," she explained. "But Republicans aren't just protesting the results of our most recent presidential election; they are laying the groundwork to steal the next one. They are sowing doubt about our electoral process to justify a crackdown on voting rights: The 2020 election was insecure, they say, and so our next election must be airtight. This twisted logic has propelled voter-suppression laws across the country, in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Montana and other states."
Hobbs explained how her office is fighting GOP voter suppression, but that she needs help from Washington, DC.
"The U.S. Senate is currently considering two voting rights bills. One, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would prevent states from passing further measures to restrict ballot access that disproportionately target minority voters. But that legislation would do nothing to roll back anti-voting laws that are already on the books. Republicans have instituted 22 voter-suppression laws in 14 states so far this year. To simply let these regressive measures stand would be to abandon our duty as public officials," she explained. "Another federal bill, the For the People Act, would strike down the senseless restrictions that Republicans have rushed to impose. What's more, the bill includes many long overdue, common-sense ideas that would expand voting rights such as automatic national voter registration. Passing these provisions would be a huge victory — not for Democrats specifically but for democracy."
But as she noted, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) stands in the way.
"Yet the For the People Act is in jeopardy because 50 Republican senators and several Democratic ones are not taking the steps needed to pass it. Democrats including Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona either do not support the bill or refuse to touch the filibuster — an arcane Senate rule that has often been used to block voting rights — in order to bring the bill to a vote," Hobbs noted. "Sinema and I serve the same state. We both know that if we do nothing now, Arizonans' access to the ballot will be stripped away by Republican legislators."
Hobbs urged immediate action to protect democracy.
"Voter-suppression efforts in Arizona are part of a nationwide dismantling of voting rights — the most sustained and egregious assault on U.S. democracy since the Jim Crow era. I am taking what steps I can to fight back on a local level. But I cannot succeed without help from Congress. Please, act decisively and pass the For the People Act. We are running out of time," Hobbs wrote.
Read the full column.