U.S. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly can stop the GOP from disenfranchising voters. Will they?




Illustration by wildpixel | iStock / Getty Images Plus

For decades, the Arizona legislature has been controlled by the Republican Party. Four of the last five governors have been Republicans. For the first time in our state’s history, we have two Democratic U.S. senators and a majority of our congressional delegation is Democrats. 

To the casual observer, Arizona has now become a battleground state where both parties must put their best efforts and ideas forward to win. As we saw in 2020, many elections will be close and every vote will count. 

Recent actions by many Republicans in the Arizona Legislature have shown that they are willing to do anything to ensure that certain votes will not count.

A counter-majoritarian party and its radically anti-democratic plan to keep power

From passing a law that will erect barriers to voting for hundreds of thousands of Arizonans to conducting an anonymously funded “audit” of the 2020 election results that has been so widely ridiculed that it was even called a “grift” by the Republican chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, they are going to previously unimaginable lengths to deny people the freedom to vote and cast doubt on our elections that have time and time again been proven to have no widespread issues. 

These legislators are clearly only working for special interests and wealthy donors who fund their campaigns — those same people who have had all the power and stood in the way of fixing the problems most Arizonans are facing. 

There is a way we can counter this. The For the People Act is a critical reform package to get dark money out of politics, stop billionaires from buying elections, end partisan gerrymandering, protect the freedom to vote and ensure elections are safe, accurate, and accessible. The measure, known officially as H.R. 1 and S. 1, 1 also cracks down on political corruption, strengthening ethics laws to prevent politicians from enriching themselves, and creating more transparency and accountability in Washington.

Most importantly, though, it will stop the efforts of these legislators to make it harder for hundreds of thousands of Arizonans to have access to their freedom to vote. They are doing everything possible to impede democracy, we must now do everything possible to save it.

H.R. 1 has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is now waiting for the Senate to take it up.

I’m thankful that Arizona has senators like Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema who are supporting this bill. However, support is not enough: It’s time to do anything possible to pass the For the People Act. It is our last, best hope to stop this relentless assault on our freedom.