• August 1, 2021

Exclusive: Arizona election hero shows Sinema what it’s like to actually care about democracy

 Exclusive: Arizona election hero shows Sinema what it’s like to actually care about democracy

Imagine that you have spent nearly every waking hour of your life for the last six months trying to combat baseless disinformation about voter fraud in order to ensure that your reality-based constituents—most of whom voted for Joe Biden—continue to feel confident about the integrity of the election in your state.

Imagine that your Republican counterparts used those baseless fraud claims as a justification for, among other things, eliminating one of the state’s most effective voting tools—the Permanent Early Voting List, which automatically sent ballots to signees for every election in which they were eligible to vote.  

Now imagine that you have a Democratic colleague in the U.S. Senate with the power to do something about that abuse of power, but who refuses to take action to protect the voting rights of her own constituents because she’s more committed to protecting the veto power of Republicans in the Senate.

Imagine you were forced to watch your Democratic colleague’s insane power trip, where paving the way to autocracy somehow felt particularly compelling and glorious.

Just imagine. That’s the reality Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is living every single day while Sen. Kyrsten Sinema jets off to Texas with a GOP senator and explains how Democrats need to change their “behavior” to better accommodate a party that is currently executing a brazen anti-democracy power grab.

Clearly, it would be maddening, and that’s probably what compelled Hobbs, who has also launched a gubernatorial bid in Arizona, to pen an op-ed for the Washington Post urging congressional action on voting rights legislation.

I am working with our legislators to defeat those bills, many of which are designed to depress turnout of minority and lower-income voters,” she wrote. “But with Republicans in control of both chambers of our legislature, my options on a state level are limited. So I am sounding the alarm and appealing to my Democratic colleagues in Washington for help.”

In the piece, Hobbs mentions Sinema by name and notes that, since they serve the same state, they both know GOP state legislators there will ultimately suppress access to the ballot box.

“I know—and I believe that U.S. senators know, too—that access to the ballot isn’t a red or blue policy but a basic American value,” she writes. “I am taking what steps I can to fight back on a local level. But I cannot succeed without help from Congress. Please, act decisively and pass the For the People Act. We are running out of time.”

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