Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Voter suppression: GOP end run around the voters starts Thursday morning

Remember when the AZ Legislature committee schedule was posted on Sunday, both stating that there was nothing listed on the House Judiciary Committee and that things were subject to change?

There's a good reason for that boilerplate caveat.

Thursday (tomorrow, as of this writing), the House Judiciary Committee will consider HB2196.

That bill would repeal the provisions of 2013's HB2305, a kind of "catch-all" of voter suppression measures.

After that bill was passed and signed into law, there was a drive to force it to go before the voters.  The drive gathered more than 140K signatures, approximately 75% more than required to place the question on the November 2014 ballot..

Faced with almost certain defeat at the hands of the voters that they wish to disenfranchise, the GOPers in the AZlege have hatched a "plan B" (subscription required).

Now, the plan seems to be:

1. Repeal HB2305, hoping it obviates the ballot question.

2. Pass the provisions piecemeal, making things far more difficult for opponents looking to stop the voter suppression tactics - any opponents would have to organize *many* costly petition drives, not just one.

Oh, and lest you think that HB2196 is the only bit of ugly on the agenda for tomorrow, the committee is also scheduled to consider:

- HB2153, the House version of the "religion is a defense to discrimination charges, or anything else, for that matter" bill

- HB2103 - expanding eligibility for a concealed weapons permit from "nearly everyone over the age of 21" to "nearly everyone over the age of 21 and nearly every member of the military and veterans over the age of 19"

The meeting is scheduled to begin (as of this writing) at 9:30 a.m. in House Hearing Room 4.

If you are able to attend and let the members of the committee hear your voice on these measures, please do so.  Keep it civil, but direct and pointed.

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