An Arizona Republican lawmaker pushing new voting restrictions after former President Donald Trump’s loss in the state argued that “everybody shouldn’t be voting,” CNN reports.
State Rep. John Kavanagh, who chairs the Government and Elections Committee defended a bill restricting mail-in ballots despite acknowledging that concerns about ballot fraud are "anecdotal, because obviously if nobody's there and they throw it away, you wouldn't know. And if nobody's there and they vote it and do a good duplicate of the signature, you wouldn't know."
"There's a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans," he told CNN. "Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they're willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don't mind putting security measures in that won't let everybody vote -- but everybody shouldn't be voting."
"Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they're totally uninformed on the issues," he added. "Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well."
AZ GOP cracks down on voting:
The bill is one of about two dozen in the state that would restrict voting access.
Kavanaugh’s committee approved a bill that would purge voters from its early voting list if they skip consecutive election cycles.
The state Senate approved a bill that would require voter IDs for mail-in ballots.
The Senate is expected to vote on another bill that would reduce the time period for early voting.
"They are trying to make it harder for everyone to vote based on the hope and desire that the people who it harms more and who it disenfranchises more are the people less likely to vote Republican," state Rep. Athena Salman, a Democrat who sits on the House Government and Elections Committee, told CNN. "The only way that they can hold onto control is if they make it harder for people to vote so that they can get an unfair and potentially unconstitutional competitive advantage."
GOP pushing hundreds of voter restrictions across US:
The Arizona bills are among more than 250 introduced across the country by Republicans looking to restrict ballot access after losing the presidency amid record turnout.
"It is at the top of the heap of states that are trying to restrict voting access," the Brennan Center’s Eliza Sweren-Becker told CNN. "The magnitude of restrictive voting bills that we're seeing in both of those states is a reflection of the anxiety around the browning of America."
"To expect that people will be able to get these documents, print them out or make a copy of them and then include and feel comfortable including them in with their ballot envelope and still expect that their ballot is secret -- that's a real challenge," added Alex Gulotta, the Arizona state director of All Voting is Local. "And it really undermines vote by mail in a really meaningful way."