AZ GOP goes full fascist: Bills to arrest election officials, declare Trump winner by fiat

Every Republican in the Arizona Senate co-sponsored a resolution demanding the Supervisor of Elections for Arizona’s largest county, Maricopa, to be arrested for declaring Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election and for not complying with their illegal demand to turn over election equipment and mail-in ballots to a Trump-allied firm that promoted false claims about the election. This despite there being no evidence of any fraud except for Trump’s belief that he can never lose. 

The election supervisor for Maricopa refused to hand over ballots and equipment, saying the Senate has no authority to ask for that, and that state law forbids him from turning over ballots, and that state law and its contract with its vendors prevent them from turning over tabulation machines.  He is also justifiably concerned that giving ballots and machines to a Trump-allied firm that spread misinformation wouldn’t be a good idea. 

His county already had two independent, non-partisan audits of the tabulation machines completed, and … big surprise… the election wasn’t fraudulent.

Maricopa County on Tuesday released the results of election audits from two independent auditors it hired to verify that voting machines were not hacked, were not connected to the internet and counted votes properly during the 2020 general election.

The Senate GOP didn’t even want to wait for a judge to rule if their subpoenas were legal, (they aren’t), and tried to have the election officials arrested because Trump didn’t like the results of the election. Fortunately, when it came time for a critical vote on the arrests, one lone republican voted against it, saying he wanted more time. Otherwise, Maricopa officials would be in jail right now for doing their job. That’s where the GOP is right now.

And if that wasn’t bad enough…

Among the 19 bills that are coming that would restrict voting rights for Arizona citizens, there is one that would allow the legislature to declare Trump, assuming he is the GOP nominee in 2024, the winner by fiat, regardless of how Arizona citizens voted.

A Republican lawmaker wants to allow the Arizona Legislature to overturn the results of a presidential election, even after the count is formally certified by the governor and secretary of state — and even after Congress counts the state’s electors.

I do want to point out that the bill was introduced by right-wing incumbent Shawnna Bolick.  She is very concerned about fraud, which is odd because her nominating petitions and verification forms  to run for office did not use her real home address, but a UPS address.  Luckily for Bolick, her husband, a Libertarian extremist, was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court by Gov. Ducey. The court ruled that although she violated state law, she didn’t have to be taken off the ballot.  Now Arizona is suffering for it.

I get that people want to vote for the candidate, not the party, but it’s very clear that when you vote for a Republican, you have to hope against hope that your candidate will do the right thing. Most of the time, they will be complicit and silent. We can’t have policy or ideological debates while the GOP is flirting with fascism and authoritarianism. My very first job in politics was a campaign manger for mayor of my city—and she was a Republican. Those days are over.

Until the Republican identity crisis is over, and until they can prove they can crawl out from the political cult it has become, Americans need to vote Democratic in every single election up and down the ticket.  Our very democracy depends on it.

  • February 28, 2021