As we fill out our vote-by-mail ballots and go to the polls later this month, don't let some pundits fool you --voter fraud is not a problem in Arizona or in America.
In addition to being a convenient myth that helps recruit fearful voters, even the people who speak about it often confuse registration fraud with voter fraud --neither of which happen in sufficient volumes to turn any elections.
Here's a great article about the myth of voter fraud, which I think should be required reading before any pundit decides to mouth off about the imaginary waves of people crashing against our shores attempting to vote in your local school board race.
Meanwhile, in Maricopa County, we are hearing about people getting two ballots under one name. This is due to mistakes at the recorder's office (are you as shocked as I am?). Of course, only one ballot will be counted. But, if you get two ballots under your name and you don't take the right steps to return the correct one, your vote might not count.
Here is a quick video from the very knowledgeable Adrian Fontes on what to do if you get two ballots. For voter questions in Maricopa County go to this link. For other voter-related questions, see the Secretary of State's website. But, please be aware that both of these offices have had problems getting the right information to voters. So, if you have a specific question, please email me here.
There has never been a more important time to speak to your friends and neighbors about voting --especially those who (mistakenly) believe that voting does not matter. There are people in this state who would be happy to take away citizens' voting rights or hide corrupting dark money in our political system.
Your vote is the only way to defeat them. Please help me continue to educate voters about their rights and advocate for voter rights at the capitol with a contribution here. Thank you!
News Around the District
1) So, if you have limited time to volunteer between not and November, and you want to make your time count, consider volunteering for Dr. Eric Meyer. I plan to spend some time helping him. If Dr. Meyer wins in November, there is a good chance that we will split the AZ Senate 15/15. That means we could stop many of the worst pieces of legislation that come through our legislature.
2) Development in downtown Phoenix is the next stage to downtown growth. Join me at this the 3rd and 5th Ave Project Open House to explore what growth could come next there.
3) The Kindness Speaker's Series is like a Ted-X conference, which will explore teaching children kindness. Ben’s Bells Kindness in Action Speaker Series brings to Arizona powerful speakers who are leaders in the Science of Kindness field. Audience members will enjoy relaxed evenings with experts offering profound insights and lively discussion.
1) Speaking of hyperbole and voter suppression, this article does a great job of demonstrating with, you know, numbers, how Donald Trump's claims of massive voter fraud are total poppycock. Doggone numbers. Getting in the way of a good voter scare.
2) It is also worth noting that North Carolina's obvious efforts at voter suppression were struck down by an appeals court two weeks ago. Two things are notable about this story. First, the appellate court could not have been more clear that the NC legislature was intentionally attempting to suppress the votes of one group based on race. Remember, this is a mostly conservative court. You don't often see courts so clearly denounce actions of legislative bodies. Read: this attempt at voter suppression was blatant.
Second, the NC legislature was the one that revived and expanded an almost dead bill within days of the Supreme Court ruling that states no longer needed to pre-clear their laws to demonstrate that they don't violate the Voter Rights Act. What does that mean? Given that his happened in several states, it means that that we still need protection of pre-clearance when it comes to voting rights.
3) You know me. I can't skip an opportunity to talk about the dark money ties in Arizona. Ties to dark money lead back to AZ and now we are starting to learn who is doing what. Dark Money Prince Sean Noble features prominently in this article, which reads lke a spy novel. Take it to the pool with you for dramatic reading. And for a little more intriguing background, check out this article on the history of dark money in Arizona.
4) Just when you thought I was a total Debbie Downer, check out this good news article about folks fighting for voter rights in Arizona. I'm hopeful that the many vote-suppressing laws passed in resent years by our legislature will soon find their end in our courts.
5) Its time for an independent study of the benefits of solar in Arizona. I went to a "workshop" last week, put on by a couple corporation commissioners and a legislator. It was interesting to see one nationally-recognized energy industry analyst tell the well-connected group that the APS and SRP efforts to lay demand charges on customers who use solar is generally unworkable, as he pointed to many creative new rate payer systems that are being used around the country --systems that encourage the use of renewables while still protecting rate payers. I hope the utilities were listing. I know I'd be happy to be part of that conversation.