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February 28, 2024 3:16 am

Local News

The Grand Canyon State’s Democratic Report Card

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Mohamed Bughrara   

Arizona is one of the country’s weakest democracies. While Arizona scores average in terms of voting rights protection, as well as campaign funding and anti-corruption legislation, it is one of the poorest states in terms of countering democracy subversion. According to the 2022 State Democracy Report Card, Arizona’s overall grade resulted in an “D”, ranking Arizona 32nd in the nation. 

Voting Rights Legislation

Grade: C (Tied for 28th in the nation)

  • Although the state allows no-excuse absentee voting, legislation was approved in 2021 that may remove roughly 340,000 Arizona residents off the state’s mail-in ballot list.
  • Individuals harmed by the judicial system are not eligible for automatic voter registration, same-day registration, or automatic restoration of voting rights in Arizona.
  • A federal judge has suspended the implementation of a new election legislation, which opponents claim would remove legal voters just before the November election

Democracy Subversion Protections

Grade: D (Tied for 40th in the nation)

  • Seven months after Arizona certified the 2020 election results, Arizona Senate Republicans engaged the Cyber Ninjas to perform a phony political election review, costing taxpayers millions of dollars and jeopardizing the integrity of Arizona’s elections.
  • The Republican-led legislature delegated authority over election-related offenses from Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to a Republican official.
  • A law giving the legislature the right to invalidate an election was filed in the state legislature in 2021, posing a blatant election sabotage danger.

Campaign Finance and Anti-Corruption Laws

Grade: B (17th in the nation)

  • Arizona’s campaign finance and ethics rules are mediocre, and the state just missed an opportunity to change them when the Arizona Supreme Court banned a ballot proposal that would have altered the state’s laws off this year’s election.

Arizona scored 144.5 out of 300. The Republican candidates for governor and secretary of state in 2022 have continued to circulate incorrect information about the 2020 election and may pose a threat to future elections. Due to threats spurred by conspiracies and disinformation about the 2020 election results, local election officials are leaving at an alarming pace.