Sen. Rebecca Rios weighs in on voting bills in AZ legislature

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Election reform and education bills are advancing at the state legislature. We heard from senate president, Republican Karen Fann. Now, it’s the Democrats’ turn. Our guest is senate minority leader Rebecca Rios.

On the issue of voter fraud, Senator Rios believes many of the bills intended to increase voter security were not based on any evidence. She said there were “court cases thrown out, there was no actual evidence of fraud.”

And whereas the stated goal of the voter security bills is to increase voter confidence, Rios said “the real intent is to decrease voter participation for those voters they don’t want participating.”

She said the Navajo nation was largely responsible for Arizona voting for Biden in 2020, and many of the bills are aimed at making it more difficult to vote in rural areas. She also questioned how much the proposed measures are going to cost and whether or not the state is going to appropriate more money to counties that are telling us there is no voter fraud.

Rios opposes HB 2596, a bill which would eliminate early voting in Arizona. “When you are eliminating the early vote you are essentially making it more difficult for Arizonans to vote.” She said many people work on election day and many do not have transportation or cannot arrange it for the single day allotted to vote. She also believes this bill may back fire and reduce the number of Republican voters as she said many of their senior-citizen supporters vote by mail “because it is easier.”

Another bill would allow the legislator to certify election results. “That’s downright scary,” Rios said. “I’d guarantee you this republican controlled legislature would have said no it actually went to trump.”

Another bill seeks to standardize the type of paper used for ballots to a special type of paper which can only be purchased from one company, something Rios said the legislature “should not be in the business of.”


Rebecca Rios, Arizona Senate Minority Leader

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