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Arizona House Speaker refuses to recall legislature to choose electors

The election has been stolen: Rusty Bowers, Arizona Republican House Speaker, has now categorically declared that he “cannot and will not” recall the legislature to review the election results and choose electors based on that, despite the Constitution’s clear language that gives the state legislature that full power.

He noted that such an action would violate the oath lawmakers took to uphold the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions, along with, “the basic principles of republican government and the rule of law if we attempted to nullify the people’s vote based on unsupported theories of fraud. Under the laws that we wrote and voted upon, Arizona voters choose who wins, and our system requires that their choice be respected.”

Bowers did, however, support an audit of the voting machines in Maricopa County to assuage concerns of tampering, but that call wasn’t taken up by Republican county officials who run elections.

So what will Bowers do if that audit discovers enough vote tampering and cheating to make the entire election suspect and unreliable? Will he, as so many Republican leaders do over and over, shake his head, whine how terrible it is, but he can do nothing? That’s what Republican leaders have been doing for decades, which of course now brings us to this moment.

Note too that Bowers is entirely wrong. Though it is traditional to let the voters decide, the actual words of the Constitution puts the decision with the state legislature. Period. It is Bowers’ responsibility by law to act.

If he does not use his power, as outlined in the Constitution (which by the way is the supreme law of the land), do not expect many Republicans to be elected in future years. First, Democrats are basically being told they have carte blanche to cheat, and cheat they will. It is also clear that the Republican leadership in the state house seems totally sanguine about the way the vote was run, and will likely do nothing to fix it come the next legislature. It took enormous pressure to get Bowers to even request this one audit of Maricopa County. He really does not appear very interested in identifying the problems and fixing them.

Second, why should anyone vote for any Republican, when it is clear they will not do anything?

With the last bit of optimism I have left, below are the phone numbers for the Republican leadership in the Arizona state legislature. If you live in Arizona, call them and tell them they are abdicating their responsibility as lawmakers. More importantly, tell them they are contributing to the fall of the American democracy by their inaction.

  • Senate President: Karen Fann, 602-926-5874
  • Senate Majority leader: Rick Gray, 602-926-5413
  • Speaker of the House: Russell Bowers, 602-926-3128
  • House Majority leader: Warren Petersen, 602-926-4136

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  • Gary

    Has any state legislature reversed a presidential election result? Has any court reversed a presidential state election result?

    I don’t recall this happening. Short of Biden bragging about how they stole the election, I can’t imagine this will happen. I think that Trump knows this and he is now posturing for his 2024 run against President Harris.

  • Gary: See this relatively accurate Wikipedia account of the 1876 election.

    Even better, see this account. These paragraphs should sound very familiar:

    In 1876, when the nation went to the polls to elect Grant’s successor, Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden, governor of New York, emerged with a lead of more than 260,000 popular votes. But Tilden had amassed only 184 electoral votes—one shy of the number needed to defeat his Republican opponent, Governor Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio. Returns from three states (Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina) were in dispute, with both sides claiming victory. Together, the states represented a total of 19 electoral votes, which along with one disputed elector from Oregon would be enough to swing the election Hayes’s way.

    The U.S. Constitution provided no way of resolving the dispute, and now Congress would have to decide. As Democrats controlled the House of Representatives, and Republicans dominated in the Senate, the two sides compromised by creating a bipartisan electoral commission with five representatives, five senators and five Supreme Court justices.

    Though the commission was supposed to be comprised of seven Republicans, seven Democrats and one independent, the independent—Supreme Court Justice David Davis—ended up dropping out when he was offered a Senate seat, and a Republican was named to replace him. In the end, after a series of votes along strict party lines, the commission awarded Hayes all three of the contested states in early March 1877, making him the winner by a single electoral vote.

    If enough state legislature dispute the results, based on evidence that suggests the vote was badly tampered with and is unreliable, the 1876 election provided precedence.

  • LocalFluff

    Then it is free to cheat in elections. Then no legislature and no court appointed by elected representatives has any legitimacy to make any decision at all. Do you see the problem with ignoring fake elections?

  • janyuary

    Thank you, Robert, as usual you hit center target: Bowers is entirely wrong. Though it is traditional to let the voters decide, the actual words of the Constitution puts the decision with the state legislature. Period. It is Bowers’ responsibility by law to act.

    That pretty much wraps it up.

    The nation isn’t divided in two — it’s divided in three: Democrats, low fat Democrats that call themselves Republicans, and those who want a movement and party that keeps the dangerous servant, the Federal Government, strictly limited.

    When they win, Americans can proceed in the 21st Century with their rights of self ownership and liberty in live-and-let-live civility, established and held high by a government deliberately segregated from the ebbs and flows of prevailing medical and scientific beliefs that today empowered in government drive ill-found fads, trends, and tyranny.

  • Andrew_W

    The section in the article you link to “Why a change in electors isn’t possible” appears to refute your claims:
    The Legislature would need to change the law to alter how Arizona chooses its state electors. And the Legislature is not in session after voting to adjourn in May.

    The Legislature cannot convene on its own without support from two-thirds of the members in each chamber. . .

    The U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the job of deciding how presidential electors will be chosen, and the Arizona Legislature has tasked voters with choosing those electors on Election Day.

    A “faithless elector” provision, backed by Arizona Republicans in 2017, requires the electors to cast their votes for the presidential candidate who wins the most votes in the state.

    “Under a law the Republican-led Legislature passed just three years ago, the state’s electors are required to cast their votes for the candidates who received the most votes in the official statewide election canvass,” Bowers reminded his fellow lawmakers Friday.

  • Cotour

    And tell me, who received the most votes, legally?

    Might not be such an easy question to answer.

  • Andrew_W

    And tell me, who received the most votes, legally?
    Obviously Biden did – until courts say otherwise.

  • Gary

    Trump has little time and a massive organized Democratic resistance. In retrospect, it is clear that the planners knew that Trump would fight their vote fraud. This is why they kept raising the likelyhood that Trump would not give up the presidency. Their claims were a bit baffling to me, but in retrospect it makes sense that they were already at work delegitimizing his anticipated reaction to organized vote fraud.

    Robert.. Thanks for the history lesson.

  • Gary: I should have added one caveat between 1876 and today. In 1876 the Republicans were fighters (they had won the Civil War only 11 years earlier). Today’s Republicans are weasels, willing to kowtow at the slightest mean word said to them by any Democrat. While in the mid-1800s the Republican Party formed to try to stop the oppression of the Democratic Party, today’s Republican Party seems willing to aid and abet it.

  • wayne

    The American Presidential Election of 1876

  • Questioner

    An important success step for Trump’s team:

    “Jenna Ellis on the MI judge that gave Team Trump access to 22 Dominion voting machines”

  • Edward

    He noted that such an action would violate the oath lawmakers took to uphold the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions, along with, “the basic principles of republican government and the rule of law if we attempted to nullify the people’s vote based on unsupported theories of fraud. Under the laws that we wrote and voted upon, Arizona voters choose who wins, and our system requires that their choice be respected.”

    They are unsupported only due to lack of investigation. If they turn out to be true, then the fraud itself has nullified the people’s true vote. Lack of action is worse than taking action to verify that the people’s true vote is being followed. This is what we are all concerned about. If no investigation occurs, then tens of millions of Americans will continue to believe that the evidence before it is right and that the election was stolen in multiple states. An investigation is required in order to reassure We the People that governors and legislatures around the country are not part of a coverup.

    Democrats are basically being told they have carte blanche to cheat, and cheat they will.

    Even if they did not steal this election, that is the message being given, this year. We will not be able to trust another American election ever again. Allegations of election fraud must be pursued in any democracy. A democracy does not work if the people cannot trust the election process. This is why the Soviet Union (and other communist countries) was not a democracy despite having elections.

  • Jeff Fauva

    There was definitely foreign malware infiltration into a unknown number of voting machines. They flipped just enough votes to squeak-by – so it doesn’t look too obvious. They were also running false flag operations to make it less likely for folks to go out and vote. The 2016 election was totally rigged.

  • Well, Edward beat me to it. Chapeau, sir .

  • Edward

    How can we be a great democracy if we can’t even demonstrate that our elections are fair? When our elections look just like a banana republic’s elections, then our democracy is lost.

    We know that the Democratic Party has been changing our election processes ever since the 2000 election, when they did not like the result. At first they merely complained that close elections could have easily gone their way, if only they had a few more votes, and changed the ballots to avoid the dreaded hanging chad After the 2016 election they were clear that they needed to be able to pull out more than just a few votes. An alternate idea was to eliminate the electoral college and go to popular votes, so that only a few states would forever determine election results.

    For this stolen election to stand would be a complete failure of our government to protect us in the same way that it has protected other countries in which it has done poll watching in order to detect election fraud. Our government its failing us in its basic purpose and duty, as directed in the Preamble to the Constitution:

    secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

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