Now he wants to give political action committees the ability to disenfranchise voters at will.
From Howard Fischer, published in the Arizona Daily Star (emphasis mine) -
A state lawmaker who represents an area with a lot of elderly people wants the ability to report registered voters who are dead.
The legislation by Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, would require the secretary of state to set up a place on the Web where political candidates could report when they "have reason to believe that a registered voter is deceased."
Any political action committee could file a similar report.
The bill in question is SB1109. The relevant section would amend ARS 41-121 thusly -
13. PROVIDE FOR THE RECEIPT OF INFORMATION FROM CANDIDATES AND POLITICAL COMMITTEES THROUGH THE SECRETARY OF STATE'SWEBSITE IF THOSE CANDIDATES AND POLITICAL COMMITTEES HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE THAT A REGISTERED VOTER IS DECEASED. ON RECEIPT OF INFORMATION FROM A WEBSITE SUBMITTAL, THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL FORWARD THE INFORMATION TO THE COUNTY RECORDER FOR THE APPROPRIATE COUNTY.
Hell, the only way to make this more perfect for Republicans looking to stem the rising tide of Democratic voter registrations would be if he wrote the bill so that only Republican candidates and committee could use it. Of course, since any reports filed under this proposal would be filtered through the Republican-run Secretary of State's office, such a provision could prove to be redundant.
As it is written, all it would take is a campaign worker knocking on a Democrat's door or calling their phone number and not getting an answer to start the disenfranchisement process.
SB1109 is sponsored or co-sponsored by a Republican rogues' gallery - State Sens. Linda Gray, Sylvia Allen, Ron Gould, John Huppenthal, Al Melvin, Jonathan Paton, John Nelson, and Thayer Vershoor.
Paton and Nelson have been known to do some professional work in the lege (though there may not be much of that from them in light of the new, harsher, Republican legislative caucus), but the rest?
As much interested in partisan gamesmanship as genuine public service.
Anyway, I've got an email out to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice inquiring if this proposal would violate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Under its provisions, any changes to voting in Arizona is subject to DOJ approval (a map of all such affected jurisdictions is here.)
Wouldn't it be ironic if a Secretary of State wanna-be was behind a federal civil rights violation even before his campaign officially started?
Update on 17 January -
Scot Montrey of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice emailed a reply to some of my questions concerning this proposal. He couldn't determine if this ploy has been attempted elsewhere, but he did say this regarding my query about whether voter registration/unregistration policies were subject to DOJ review -
"Because the entire state of Arizona is covered under Section 5 of theVRA, any changes to systems or practices in election systems require pre-clearance."
Mr. Montrey also pointed me toward a possible resource for research here (FOIA). We'll see what's available via that route of inquiry.