Three dozen Arizona Democrats are pleading with Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema to do everything in his power to pass a sweeping voting rights protection bill as Republicans in the state step forward with their audit of the 2020 election results.
In a letter to the Democratic Senator, members of the State House and Senate highlight hundreds of voter suppression bills Republicans have introduced in states since President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 which add new obstacles to the voting process.
“The 2020 general election saw record levels of voter turnout across the country,” the letter said. “But instead of celebrating this historic achievement, our freedom to vote is threatened in state legislatures across the country.”
The legislation enacted in Arizona “will have a disproportionate impact on young voters, low-income voters and voters of color,” the group told Sinema. Additionally, the GOP-led Arizona State Senate has hired a company for a 2020 recount that could fuel new voter suppression efforts.
Together, the signatories of the letter make up about three-quarters of the Arizona state Democratic caucus.
“As you know, there is a solution,” they said.
While Sinema supports the For the People Act passed by the House – she co-sponsored the legislation – her stance on maintaining Senate filibuster rules makes her one of the biggest obstacles to the passage of the bill. No Republican in the equally divided Senate supports the For the People Act, which would need at least 60 votes to overcome an obstruction.
“Given the Republican filibuster,” the letter read, “the bill will die in the US Senate unless members are prepared to work outside the box. We call on you to do whatever is necessary, up to and including filibuster reform, to pass the “For the People Act”. Our democracy is too important to be sacrificed on the altar of archaic and undemocratic senatorial procedures such as filibuster.
“As fellow Arizona lawmakers, we respectfully and urgently call on you to stand up at this crucial time for our state and our country to fulfill the promise of democracy for all of us.”
Sinema has so far refused to budge on the idea of abolishing systematic obstruction, defending it as a tool of bipartisanship. She and Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), who also refuses to change the Senate’s accidental obstruction rule, are thus obstructing the Biden administration’s top legislative priorities.
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