Not everybody should vote. That’s the unabashed position of Arizona Republican lawmaker John Kavanagh, who chairs the Government and Elections Committee in the Arizona House.
Rep. Kavanagh made his seemingly undemocratic comments in defense of a bill (SB1485) that would require Arizonians who signed up for early voting – but have not participated in the last four elections – to confirm that they still want to receive a ballot. If they fail to confirm, they’d be purged from the early voting list.
“There’s a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans,” Kavanagh said. “Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud. 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.“
Kavanagh acknowledged to CNN that the standard GOP line insisting that massive voting fraud persists is “anecdotal,” but he also asserted that Democrats have registered many voters who are not fit to participate in democracy. More from the CNN report:
He pointed to Democrats’ emphasis on registering voters and pursuing those who have not returned ballots — tactics that Republicans have successfully implemented in other swing states — and said doing so means that “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 said. “Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well.“
Arizona is among 43 states that have introduced legislation that would make voting more difficult, according to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice. Only Georgia has introduced more anti-voting measures.
Alex Gulotta, the Arizona state director of All Voting is Local, explained to CNN why SB1485 is unfair:
“To expect that people will be able to get these documents, print them out or make a copy of them and then include and feel comfortable including them in with their ballot envelope and still expect that their ballot is secret — that’s a real challenge,” Gulotta said. “And it really undermines vote by mail in a really meaningful way.”