Arizona Republicans rolled out a slew of new voting bills inspired by former President Donald Trump’s debunked conspiracy theories, including a bill that would allow the legislature to overturn election results, The Arizona Mirror reports.
Republican state Rep. John Fillmore introduced a bill that would ban no-excuse early voting, which is the most common type of voting in the state, and require that all ballots would be counted by hand within 24 hours of the election, which is likely impossible.
But the biggest voting change in the bill would be to create a special session for the legislature to “review the ballot tabulating process” and decide whether to “accept or reject” the results. If the results are rejected, any voter can ask a judge to order a new election.
Fillmore denied that the bill would allow the legislature to overturn the election. Instead, if the legislature finds “obvious fraud” and rejects the results, a court would overturn the election.
If a judge does not order a new election, he said, “then we’re just going to have to shut up and deal with it.”
The bill does not require the legislature to cite any specific reason to reject the results, and does not say what would happen if a court fails to order a new election.
“It’s terrifying,” Jennifer Morrell, a former Colorado elections official, told the Mirror.
Former Arizona election official Tammy Patrick told the outlet that the proposal is part of a trend from “anti-democratic forces” that want to subvert the will of the voters.
If there is fraud in an election, Patrick said, there are already laws on the books to deal with it.
Bills like Fillmore’s are similar to those in “sham democracies,” she said. “This type of activity, when you look at it all in one comprehensive way, it’s anti-democratic, it’s authoritarian, and it’s not the sort of activity and actions you see in a healthy democracy.”
It’s unclear whether the bill can muster enough Republican support to pass the state House, where Republicans hold a single-seat majority.
The bill is one of two dozen that Republicans have proposed in Arizona this month.
Other proposals would require fingerprinting as a voter ID requirement, require holograms and watermarks on ballots, and impose other restrictions even after a Republican-led election audit found no evidence of fraud or election rigging.
One bill would an automatic voter registration, even though the state does not offer automatic voter registration.
Another bill would create a $5 million special bureau to investigate voter fraud, which is extremely rare.
At least two bills would put ballot images online.
But at least one senator, retiring Republican Paul Boyer, has vowed to block some of the more problematic bills.
"I said if you want me in the room, let's talk about water, let's talk about transportation, let's talk about something that we can make a difference. If you want to talk about elections, I'm sorry, but I'm busy," he said.