Republicans in Arizona Legislature making last push for election law changes with budget as bargaining chip

By Ray Stern and Kiera Riley | Arizona Republic

An ambitious agenda by Republican lawmakers in Arizona to pass sweeping changes to the election system is so far stymied by disputes within the party and wholesale opposition from Democrats.

But lawmakers who believe baseless theories that Trump won the presidential election haven’t given up, pushing recently to revive bills that would take away modern voting conveniences and support overturning the 2020 election.

On June 1, Rep. Neal Carter, R-San Tan Valley, made a motion on the House floor to skip normal procedure and take a vote immediately on a resolution to set aside and decertify the results of the 2020 election in Maricopa, Pima and Yuma counites because of the “irredeemably flawed nature” of the election.

No evidence has surfaced showing wide-scale fraud or irredeemable flaws that caused Trump to lose in Maricopa and Pima counties. Trump not only won in Yuma County in 2020, but he increased his margin of victory there from 2016 by a factor of seven.

Besides that, no process exists under Arizona law to decertify an election.

Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, who’s running for secretary of state, acknowledged as much in February when he introduced the decertification resolution with 13 GOP House and Senate members as co-sponsors.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a skeptic of election conspiracies who was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in June for refusing Trump’s request to help overturn the election, never assigned the resolution for a hearing by a legislative committee, the usual first step for such measures.

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