True the Vote Testifies to Arizona Legislators Regarding ‘2,000 Mules’ Documentary on Ballot Harvesting, Urges Passage of HB 2289

Two representatives from True the Vote, the election integrity organization whose work using GPS smartphone data to investigate ballot harvesting in Arizona and other states was featured in the recent 2,000 Mules documentary by Dinesh D’Souza, testified during an Arizona Legislative hearing on Tuesday providing further details. Catherine Engelbrecht, the founder and president, and Gregg Phillips, a data expert, drew frequent gasps and clapping, despite a request for no clapping at the beginning. When asked by legislators what Engelbrecht recommended for action, she said pass HB 2289. Sponsored by State Rep. John Fillmore (R-Apache Junction), it bans drop boxes and has passed the House, but has been held up in the Senate. 

Democrats in the legislature tried to interfere with the hearing by forcing a vote on a gun control bill, stalling it for well over an hour. Right Side Broadcasting filmed the hearing live on YouTube, but it was yanked by YouTube by the time it was finished. 

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Arizona Democratic Party Requests Investigation of Redistricting, Claims It Protects Incumbent GOP State Senators

The Arizona Democratic Party submitted a complaint on Monday to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, asking him to investigate whether a couple of members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) violated the Arizona Constitution by drawing district boundary lines to protect at least three incumbent Republican state senators. Executive Director Charlie Fisher, who signed the letter, also asked the attorney general’s office (AGO)to determine if the members violated Arizona’s Open Meeting law, and whether members, as well as senators and their staff, improperly used state resources and funds.

The moves may have been done to include significant Republican enclaves in heavily Republican districts, not to just grab a single senator’s residence. State Senator Vince Leach (R-Tucson), one of the senators who was accused of being gerrymandered into a heavily Republican district, explained to The Arizona Sun Times about the area he lives in that was included, “Catalina has always been in LD 11. Since the election of 2012.”

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State Sen. Townsend Subpoenas Maricopa County Supervisors to Testify Why County Is Obstructing Attorney General Brnovich’s 2020 Election Investigation

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has been investigating the results of the Arizona Senate’s independent audit of the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County but, similar to what the Arizona Senate experienced previously, has been thwarted by the Maricopa County Supervisors’ (BOS) refusal to turn over evidence. Due to the obstruction, State Senator Kelly Townsend (R-Apache Junction), issued a legislative subpoena to the BOS demanding their testimony on Monday, to explain their reasons for delaying the production of documents, and what they intend to do to rectify the situation.

Townsend stated, “Throughout this process, we have been dismayed at the level of obstruction, obfuscation, malfeasance and nonfeasance seen throughout the inquiry. The claim that there is not a ‘shred of evidence’ regarding irregularities in the election is patently false, but hard not to believe by the general public when so much is being hidden from their view.” 

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Two Arizona GOP State Senators Vote with Democrats to Kill Election Integrity Bills

Republican State Senators Paul Boyer (R-Glendale) and Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale) defeated several key election integrity bills in the Arizona Legislature as the only Republicans siding with Democrats. Republicans have a one-seat majority in the Senate, and since Boyer has angered Republicans for frequently voting with the Democrats against bills and thwarting election integrity efforts, he will not be seeking a third term after this year’s session. Former President Donald Trump endorsed former State Rep. Anthony Kern (R-Glendale), a champion of election integrity, to replace him.

SB 1055, sponsored by State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Apache Junction), made any contractor who failed to provide election services or products guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor and liable for liquidated damages of the amount of the contract. Boyer was the only Republican to oppose it.

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State Sen. Kelly Townsend Announces Congressional Run in Arizona’s Open New 6th District Seat

State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Apache Junction) announced she is running for Arizona’s newly redrawn 6th District Congressional seat, which is an open seat due to Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick declining to run for reelection. The sprawling southeast Arizona rural district runs from the U.S.-Mexico border to the Mogollon Rim and the New Mexico border to Casa Grande. Townsend lives in Apache Junction, in the newly drawn CD 5, about 60 miles from CD 6, but there is no requirement for her to live in the district she runs in, only that she live within the state.

Townsend told Capitol Media Services, “Anybody who knows me knows that my heart has been down in the southern part of the state anyway. That’s where I go for leisure, and that’s where I go to work.” Townsend filed a complaint last year with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich about Tucson’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. After Brnovich issued an opinion declaring that the mandate was illegal, the city paused it.

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Arizona Lawmakers Hold Hearing in Pima County Analyzing 2020 Voter Fraud Allegations

Nine Arizona legislators held a hearing Monday in the Democratic stronghold of Pima County and Tucson over persistent rumors of election irregularities, including one anonymous allegation that 35,000 fraudulent votes were added to the final tally.

State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa) explained why the Pima County election integrity hearing was necessary.

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Arizona Lawmakers Demand Gov. Ducey Call a Special Session so They Can Stop COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for City of Phoenix Employees

The City of Phoenix instituted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees, and numerous Republican lawmakers want to stop it. Several legislators sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey demanding that he call a special session of the Arizona Legislature so they can pass legislation halting that mandate and any others in Arizona. 

Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix), Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), and Rep. Justin Wilmeth (R-Phoenix) wrote, “We urge you to immediately call us into a special session to pass legislation prohibiting any government entity from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. Since the Arizona Supreme Court struck down policy provisions added to the budget passed earlier this year as a violation of our state Constitution’s single subject clause, it is imperative we address medical freedom issues taking place in our K-12 public schools, public colleges and universities, and any city, county or town from imposing a vaccine passport or mandate on any person or business.” 

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Arizona State University Says Kyle Rittenhouse May Apply for Admission There, Despite Protests by Some Students

Arizona State University (ASU) officials say Kyle Rittenhouse may enroll for classes, notwithstanding radical student groups like the ASU Students For Socialism’s vows to demonstrate on campus Wednesday to demand the school prevent him from attending. Rittenhouse, who was recently acquitted of homicide for defending himself, has taken online courses at ASU previously and said after the acquittal that he intends to resume them.

Several prominent ASU graduates denounced the protest, and one, State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa), pushed ASU for a response.

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Issues Legal Opinion Declaring the City of Tucson’s Vaccine Mandate for Employees Illegal

Mark Brnovich

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued a legal opinion on Tuesday stating that the City of Tucson’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city employees violates S.B. 1824 (soon to be A.R.S. 36-681) and Gov. Doug Ducey’s Executive Order 2021-18 prohibiting local and state governments from implementing them. Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa) submitted a SB 1487 request for the investigation.

“Tucson’s vaccine mandate is illegal, and the city could be held liable for attempting to force employees to take it against their beliefs,” Brnovich said. “COVID-19 vaccinations should be a choice, not a government mandate.” His spokeswoman, Katie Conner, told reporters during a phone call, “Adhering to the rule of law in Arizona is not optional.”

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Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb: ‘We Will Never Mandate the Vaccine’

Mark Lamb

In response to various business and governmental entities mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for employees, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb told people in a video posted to Twitter that he would not be imposing a mandate for his workers. Gov. Doug Ducey issued an order on August 16 prohibiting local governments from issuing vaccine mandates. It is punishable by a class 3 misdemeanor or other legal action. 

Lamb said, “As long as I am your sheriff, we will never mandate the vaccine. We believe that your health choices are yours and yours alone. Whether you get the vaccine, or don’t get the vaccine, that’s your private information. Here, we believe in America and freedom and we’re going to continue on with that. God bless.” 

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Enforcement of Arizona Senate’s Maricopa Subpoena ‘Unlikely’ with Reported GOP Holdout

The enforcement of the Arizona Senate’s second subpoena of election materials from the state’s Maricopa County depends upon achieving a majority vote in the chamber that one Republican senator says is “unlikely” due to a reported GOP holdout.

State Senate Republicans this week issued a fresh subpoena to the county, demanding a fresh wave of documents related to the 2020 election there as an ongoing forensic audit of results approaches a conclusion.

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Arizona Legislature Wraps up Session for the Year

The Arizona Legislature wrapped up this year on Wednesday with a nearly record-long session, reaching 171 days. Lawmakers came to an agreement on most of the budget last Friday that contained historic tax cuts. Governor Doug Ducey signed that bill, HB 2900, also on Wednesday.

During the last few hours, the legislature approved the education budget bill, HB 2898, which included an expansion of the school voucher program. It reduces the length of time children must attend a public school before they are eligible for vouchers to use at a private school. Low-income children who live near poorly-rated schools will be eligible immediately, and others will only have to spend 45 days in the school, down from 100 days.

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Arizona Legislature Overrides Ducey’s Veto

Doug Ducey

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 25-5 Thursday to override Governor Doug Ducey’s veto of a bill that made technical corrections to previously enacted laws. Ducey vetoed SB1635 along with 21 other bills a month ago, following through on a threat he’d made in May over the legislature’s failing to send him a budget. It was the first time in 40 years, the Arizona Senate has overruled the governor.

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