Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Senator Michele Reagan (R-Scottsdale) wants to be Arizona's next Secretary of State. Her role models are Katherine Harris (R-Florida) (2000), Ken Blackwell (R-Ohio) (2004), and Scott Gessler (R-Colorado) (2012), Republican Secretaries of State with notorious records for voter suppression.
Sen. Reagan is the sponsor of the Voter Suppression Act, HB 2305, and she is damned proud of it. Last Friday, The Arizona Republic published a "My Turn" guest opinion by Sen. Reagan that can be boiled down to her shouting "voter fraud!" as the reason for her Voter Suppression Act. Reagan: 3 oft-forgotten election-bill facts.
This despite the fact that our current Secretary of State, Ken "Birther" Bennett, testified to a U.S. Senate panel in December last year that Arizona prosecuted a whopping fifteen cases of voter fraud in the last eighteen months. And none of these were cases of non-citizens voting, but rather "snowbirds" who voted in Arizona and in another state. 2.3 million ballots were cast in the 2012 election in Arizona. Ken Bennett's passion for voter fraud turns up fifteen cases.
A citizens referendum (or "citizens veto" in other states) has been filed by the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee to block Sen. Reagan's Voter Suppression Act. The Libertarian Party, the Green Party, the Democratic Party, the non-partisan League of Women Voters, organized labor, and a wide array of Latino and voting rights organizations are in the process of collecting enough signatures to be filed by September 12.
On Monday, Sen. Reagan doubled-down by filing her own committee to defend her Voter Suppression Act. The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports Backers of elections bill create committee to head off challenge:
Supporters of a controversial elections bill formed a campaign committee to combat a referendum drive aimed at putting it on the 2014 ballot.
Protect Our Secret Ballot was filed with the Secretary of State’s Office on Monday to defend HB2305. Sen. Michele Reagan, who sponsored several bills that were later included in the omnibus elections, is the group’s chair.
Funny thing . . . HB 2305 does not affect laws regarding secret ballots. "But Reagan said she didn’t think the name was misleading." This committee is recycling the "Save Our Secret Ballot" committee from 2010 which was designed to mislead voters about union organizing votes. Misleading the voters is what these people specialize in.
Reagan said the committee may launch legal challenges against the referendum effort, campaign in favor of HB2305 if it gets onto the ballot or undertake other activities to defend the recently passed law. Reagan said the group already has funding lined up.
“We’re prepared to do what we think needs to be done,” Reagan said. “I’m leaving all options open.”
Sen. Reagan concedes that her "voter fraud!" conspiracy theories are not grounded in fact or reality, but rather her irrational fear that "it could happen":
[Sen. Reagan] wants to ensure that people don’t feel pressured to turn over their ballots to people who may open them, tamper with them or not turn them in depending on which candidates they voted for. She said she’s heard such allegations, but is unsure whether such things have happened.
“I’m not saying that that happened. But I’m saying when you have a system where you have no control on thousands of ballots, you’re leaving yourself open to all kinds of shenanigans,” Reagan said.
Sen. Reagan's designs on becoming Arizona's next Secretary of State is no sure thing as she faces opposition in the GOP primary from Jack Harper and Steve Montenegro, equally poor choices in my opinion. Sen. Reagan is also opposed by the Tea Party "RINO hunters" who oppose her because of her one vote in favor of Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid (AHCCCS) restoration/expansion plan. Medicaid wounds are still raw in GOP. She was "for it before she was against it."