Reagan focused most of her 5-minute speech at the well-publicized annual CPAC event in Washington on the practice of groups - both Democratic and Republican - who collect and turn in early ballots on behalf of voters. She led off her talk with the scary story of
"One man turns in several thousand ballots all by himself at one polling place on a general election day. That doesn't happen in America, does it? Well, it does happen in every election in my state. And, believe it or not, it's perfectly legal.... I am here to warn conservatives everywhere that although our election system is the greatest in the world, it is still far from perfect."
She did not show the video that went viral in 2014; perhaps because it is legal. She then bemoaned that even with the Republican domination in Arizona, "an outrageous loophole in state law allows mass ballot collection - also known as ballot harvesting - and the radical left who uses ballot
Reagan stated that the GOP "proudly" is trying to make it "easy to vote but hard to cheat." She returned several more times to the "appalling" ballot harvesting.
HB2023 is the bill currently in the Arizona State Senate that would make all such voting assistance a class 6 felony. It passed the House 34-23 one month ago. Here is the operative lannguage:
Reagan's clearly wished to elevate this issue to top priority status with her CPAC address, and one of the most important battles in the fight against "voter fraud". That it has stalled in the Arizona Legislature may be an indication of fears that it would spur a referendum petition drive to place the measure on the November ballot, similar to the successful HB2305 referendum drive in 2013.
People who currently help collect and turn in early ballots are already prohibited from tampering with the ballot envelope sealed and signed by the voter. And, County election workers painstakingly match every voter signature with their voter registration signature before counting the ballot.*
* From personal experience, Maricopa County Elections already requires people turning in multiple voter registration forms to present identification and sign a form that they were legally obtained.
We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.