Arizona GOP lawmaker stonewalls bill allowing state to reject election results

An Arizona Republican lawmaker used a parliamentary maneuver to block a bill that would have allowed the state to reject election results.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers effectively prevented a bill, introduced by state Rep. John Fillmore, from being able to move forward by assigning it to each of the 12 House committees, knowing it will be unable to secure approval from each, according to the Arizona Daily Star. Usually bills are assigned to two committees for approval.

"There's individual elements [of the bill] that harm accuracy, speed, and dependability of a vote," Bowers told the outlet. "And if I can stop it, I'm not going to let that happen."

While Fillmore criticized Bowers for acting "like he's God," he acknowledged that he had not received enough support from members of his own party to out Bowers as the speaker.

"Sometimes there are a great many of the legislators [who] don't have the intestinal fortitude to do what is right," Fillmore said.

The bill, known as House Bill 2596, would have the ability to call session in order to "accept or reject the election results," a procedure that prompted concern from the speaker, who dismissed concerns of widespread voter fraud.

"We gave the authority to the people," said Bowers. "For somebody to say we have plenary authority to overthrow a vote of the people for something we think may have happened, where is [the evidence]?"

The proposal would also change laws currently in effect regarding who would be able to receive an early ballot, limiting it to people who are hospitalized, visually impaired, or serving in the Armed Forces overseas, among other provisions.

Auditors in the state released findings in September of last year affirming President Joe Biden's electoral victory in the state, despite claims from former President Donald Trump and his allies that widespread voter fraud cost him the state in. the 2020 presidential contest. Election officials in the county went on to release a 93-page review of the audit during the same month, which alleged that the costly audit contained "faulty analysis, inaccurate claims, misleading information, and a lack of understanding of state and federal laws."