Voting opponents fight over GOP primaries for Arizona Secretary of State

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The main candidates for the GOP nomination for Arizona Secretary of State, whose agency oversees elections and certifies election results in the state, are both members of the American Legislative Exchange Council ( ALEC), a right-wing corporate lobby group that supports voter suppression legislation. . And one of them fully embraced former President Donald Trump’s big lie that the 2020 election was stolen and received his approval.

The Arizona presidential election was near, with Biden winning 10,457 votes, and even a controversial mock audit initiated by the President-elect of the ALEC, Senator Karen Fann, recently confirmed the result and found no evidence. electoral fraud during the election.

Trump’s preferred candidate, State Representative Mark Finchem, nonetheless believes the election was stolen, attended the January 6 rally in Washington, DC, which led to the deadly insurgency by Trump supporters in the United States Capitol, and called for the 2020 presidential election to be decertified.

In a press release endorsing Finchem, Trump said: “In addition to his incredibly powerful stance on the massive voter fraud that took place in the 2020 presidential scam, he is strong on crime, Borders, our currently besieged Second Amendment, and loves our military and veterinarians.

Finchem is one of three Arizona lawmakers to speak at a QAnon conference in Las Vegas October 22-25. Democracy reform group Rural Arizona Action led a campaign to recall Finchem this summer based on its ties to the insurgency, but the effort fell short of the 24,775 signatures required to vote.

The other main candidate, State Representative Shawnna Bolick, is also a member of the CAFTA. The Phoenix Republican co-chairs the CAFTA Secret Election Task Force, which is developing policy on voter suppression and gerrymandering.

Bolick also sponsored sweeping legislation this year to allow the Arizona legislature to overturn the presidential election results and choose its own voters. The bill, HB 2720, is still pending before the House Rules Committee.

Her husband, Clint Bolick, was vice president of litigation at the Goldwater Institute and a member of the right-wing State Policy Network before being appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court by Gov. Doug Ducey.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and State Representative Reginald Bolding are part of the Democratic primary for the post of Secretary of State.

Candidates have yet to file campaign finance reports for next year’s secretary of state election.

Finchem, in his previous candidacy for state representative, has received contributions from PACs of utility Pinnacle West, the Arizona Association of Realtors, mining conglomerate Freeport-McMoran, Raytheon and Pfizer, as well as the Gov . Ducey’s Arizona Leadership Fund and many other donors

In his previous campaigns, Bolick has raised considerable amounts of money from individuals, as well as funds from the PACs of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Pinnacle West, Freeport-McMoran, Southwest Gas, Chamber of Commerce of Arizona Utility and Salt River Project.

Finchem and Bolick both sponsored Arizona’s Bill HB 2905, signed by the governor in July, making it a Class 5 felony for a county election supervisor to hand over an early ballot to a person who has not requested a ballot. The bill exempts the sending of a ballot to a person on the county’s active advance polling list.

A Class 5 felony carries an alleged penalty of two years and is often used to prosecute those who profit from the prostitution of others.

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