Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks about the coronavirus pandemic at a news conference July 9, 2020. Photo by Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press | Pool photo
Gov. Doug Ducey said business community opposition to a pair of election bills that critics allege will suppress voters won’t affect his decision on whether to sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.
Greater Phoenix Leadership, a business and civic organization, issued a statement last week urging lawmakers to reject legislation that it said is voter suppression. The proposed bills would purge inactive voters from the state’s Permanent Early Voting List and to require voters to include driver’s license numbers or other proof of identification with their early ballots.
The statement, signed by 40 business leaders, most of whom are on GPL’s board, came on the same day that Major League Baseball announced that it would pull its All-Star Game from Georgia in response to a new law that restricts access to voting in some cases.
“I’m going to sign good policy,” Ducey told reporters during a press conference at the Executive Tower on Thursday. “I report to the people of Arizona, not a major sports league. And I’m going to make decisions on the policies that are put in front of me. And if good policy is put in front of me, I’m going to enthusiastically sign it.”
Ducey also criticized Major League Baseball for its decision to take the All-Star Game from Atlanta, saying the decision was a mistake and that there’s been a lot of misinformation reported about the Georgia legislation, noting that The Washington Post found numerous falsehoods in President Joe Biden’s recent statements about the bill.
“I like to keep politics out of baseball. That’s how I prefer it,” he said. “And I really feel for the folks around the stadium in Atlanta, the small businesspeople and the people that count on an event like that and had likely planned all year to take advantage of it, especially with us coming back to life and getting out and about.”
Ducey traditionally does not comment on legislation that hasn’t reached his desk, and he has not commented specifically on the bills that GPL criticized. He has also repeatedly boasted that Arizona’s election system makes it “easy to vote and hard to cheat.” Nonetheless, he has said he’s open to signing the bills.
Both bills have passed out of the Senate and await action by the full House of Representatives. Democratic lawmakers and other critics have denounced the bills as voter suppression, while supporters describe them as commonsense election security measures.
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