WASHINGTON, D.C. — Arizona Republicans are determined to make it harder for state officials to run elections. The state Senate advanced a bill today that would ban election workers from accepting private grants and donations from nonprofits to fund the administration of elections. In 2020, in the face of unprecedented threats to elections from COVID-19 and Republican legislatures unwilling to spend money to help election officials prepare for voting, private donations made up the difference for many local election administrators struggling to protect voters. House Bill 2569 would ban these donations, despite the fact that there is no evidence they were used in a partisan manner.
Republicans have a history of denying or blocking much-needed government funds for election administration and security. Democrats in Arizona like Rep. Kelli Butler see the bill as making a dire problem even worse: “[It] sounded like we all came to an agreement that it is the duty of taxpayers to fund the election,” Butler told NPR. “But the fact is, we aren’t doing that right now. And when we don’t have enough money to do that, I can’t blame [election officials] in the last election for seeking the funds they needed to perform those critical functions and keep our elections safe.”
The bill now moves to Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) desk.