The chairman of the Arizona state Government and Elections Committee, Rep. John Kavanagh (R) said the Arizona Republican Party is worried about sending ballots out automatically to people, due to election fraud concerns because “everybody shouldn’t be voting.”
Kavanagh told CNN that the party is concerned that ballots sent out to people who died or have moved could contribute to voter fraud, though he admits that his concerns about those ballots being cast fraudulently are “anecdotal”.
Kavanagh said there’s a “fundamental difference” in how Democrats and Republicans view voting rights.
“Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud,” he said. “Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote — but everybody shouldn’t be voting.”
He also blasted Democrats’ efforts to register more voters and their push to get their voters to return to their ballots, saying: “You can greatly influence the outcome of the election if one side pays people to actively and aggressively go out and retrieve those ballots.”
“Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they’re totally uninformed on the issues,” Kavanagh added. “Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well.”
Kavanagh’s comments come as the Republican-led Senate in Arizona passed SB 1485, one of the nearly two dozen bills in the state that restricts voting access.
According to CNN, SB 1485, would have the state send notices to people who are on the permanent early voting list but have not participated in the last four elections, asking if they want to continue to receive ballots. Those who do not respond would be removed.
There are more than 250 pieces of legislation that restricts voting access being pushed in 43 states across the country, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
Arizona is second to Georgia in the number of restrictive voting bills introduced this year.
Eliza Sweren-Becker, voting rights and elections counsel at the Brennan Center, said what we’re seeing in those two states “is a reflection of the anxiety around the browning of America.”