State lawmakers proposes bill that would let Arizona legislature nullify presidential elections

State lawmakers proposes bill that would let Arizona legislature nullify presidential elections

Aldous J Pennyfarthing – January 27, 2022 

Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, Thursday, May 6, 2021 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. The audit, ordered by the Arizona Senate, has the U.S. Department of Justice saying it is concerned about ballot security and potential voter intimidation arising from the unprecedented private recount of the 2020 presidential election results. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

Who are these folks who can’t wrap their minds around the fact that Donald Trump legitimately lost the 2020 election? Where did they ever get the idea that this logorrheic lout was invincible? The guy was laid low by bone spurs, FFS—and he only survived COVID-19 because he was given access to extraordinary life-saving measures. It’s not like he was Teddy Roosevelt regaling his charges with bracing tales about his days with the Rough Riders. At best, Trump’s rough rider tales were just tedious screaming jeremiads about the thread count and awkward fit of his underpants.

But by now it’s an article of faith among “loyal” (read: cultish) Republicans that the 2020 election was stolen from the guy who never polled above 50% approval at any time during his presidency. And once again, Arizona is at the vanguard of the Big Lie boobery. This time it’s Republican state Rep. John Fillmore, who’s proposed a bill that would make Arizona legislators a backstop against election fraud a Republican presidential candidate ever losing the state again.  

The bill, introduced by state Rep. John Fillmore (R), would substantially change the way Arizonans vote by eliminating most early and absentee voting and requiring people to vote in their home precincts, rather than at vote centers set up around the state.

Most dramatically, Fillmore’s bill would require the legislature to hold a special session after an election to review election processes and results, and to “accept or reject the election results.”

So Republicans don’t already have enough of an advantage with an Electoral CollegeU.S. Senate, and gerrymandered network of state legislatures all favoring them? Now they need the power to nullify elections they don’t like, too?

It’s interesting that this comes from Arizona, the state that authorized a fake, pro-Trump audit that nevertheless confirmed Joe Biden’s victory. (Dead-enders who still dream of a thousand-year Galactic Trumpian Empire have cited the Cyber Ninjas’ post-fraudit “questions” surrounding the election as reasons to keep up the 2020 fight, but those were dismissed with remarkable ease by Maricopa County’s crew of experienced election officials.)

For his part, Fillmore isn’t buying into all this “Biden won” tomfoolery. He saw those boat parades and superspreader rallies with his own eyes, and that trumps a full hand recount of ballots any day. “I don’t care what the press says. I don’t trust ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox or anybody out there. Everybody’s lying to me and I feel like I have a couple hundred ex-wives hanging around me,” Fillmore said at a committee hearing on Wednesday. “We should have voting in my opinion in person, one day, on paper, with no electronic means and hand counting that day. We need to get back to 1958-style voting.”

Hmm, judging by his “ex-wives” crack, I have a feeling the voting system isn’t the only thing he’d like returned to 1958.

So … one day to vote? Does that mean he’ll support an Election Day holiday and a big boost in the number of polling places so people of color don’t have to wait in line for four hours to exercise their sacred constitutional rights? Erm. For some reason I doubt that.

Of course, Arizona has already done a number on voting rights, and the Supreme Court appears poised to back them up at every turn. So what’s one more nail in our democracy’s coffin, huh? 

And while Fillmore’s bill is unlikely to pass, it’s still alarming how brazenly the GOP is attempting to rewrite the rules to a game they’d be losing far more frequently if those rules were fair.

Fillmore’s legislation is unlikely to gain much traction, but it is a sign that some Republicans have embraced the idea that legislators should have veto power over the will of the voters if they do not like the results.

Before Trump came along, such initiatives would be rightly seen as hair-on-fire emergencies for Western liberal democracy. Now? Just another Wednesday.

We’re in a fraught moment, folks. I hope we’re all awake and ready to push back at these fatuous fascists every time they try this nonsense. If not, get ready for McRib sandwiches to be permanently classified as a vegetable by the USDA. Because that’s what freedom tastes like in the Trump Reich.

Author: John Hanno

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Bogan High School. Worked in Alaska after the earthquake. Joined U.S. Army at 17. Sergeant, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 84th Artillery, 7th Army. Member of 12 different unions, including 4 different locals of the I.B.E.W. Worked for fortune 50, 100 and 200 companies as an industrial electrician, electrical/electronic technician.