Three dozen Arizona Democrats are pleading with Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to do everything in her power to pass a sweeping voting rights protection bill as Republicans in the state plod along with their audit of the 2020 election results.
In a letter to the Democratic senator, members of the state House and Senate point to hundreds of voter suppression bills Republicans have introduced in states since President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory that add new barriers to the voting process.
“The 2020 general election saw record-breaking levels of voter participation across the country,” the letter reads. “But instead of celebrating this historic achievement, our freedom to vote is being threatened in state legislatures across the country.”
Legislation enacted in Arizona “will disproportionately impact young voters, low-income voters, and voters of color,” the group told Sinema. Further, Arizona’s GOP-led state Senate has hired a company for a 2020 recount that may fuel further voter suppression efforts.
Together, the letter’s signers represent about three-quarters of Arizona’s state Democratic caucus.
“As you know, there is a solution,” they said.
While Sinema supports the House-passed For the People Act ― she co-sponsored the legislation ― her position on maintaining Senate filibuster rules makes her one of the bill’s biggest hurdles to passage. No Republicans in the evenly divided Senate support the For the People Act, which would need at least 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
“Given Republican obstruction,” the letter reads, “the bill will die in the U.S. Senate unless members are willing to work outside the box. We call on you to do everything necessary, up to and including reforming the filibuster, to pass the ‘For the People Act.’ Our democracy is too important to be sacrificed at the altar of archaic and anti-democratic Senate procedures such as the filibuster.”
“As fellow Arizona legislators we are calling upon you with respect and urgency to stand up in this crucial moment for our state and for our country to make the promise of democracy real for us all.”
Sinema has so far refused to budge on the idea of abolishing the filibuster, defending it as a tool for bipartisanship. She and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who also refuses to change the accidental Senate filibuster rule, thus stand in the way of the Biden administration’s biggest legislative priorities.