House Speaker Rusty Bowers unhappy with Finchem election denial bill
Rep. Mark Finchem again raised baseless doubts about the 2020 election on Monday, calling on lawmakers to rescind certification of results in three counties, including Maricopa.
In response, House Speaker Rusty Bowers cast doubt on the fate of Finchem’s legislation, House Concurrent Resolution 2033.
“Mr. Finchem’s patently unconstitutional and deeply reckless proposal will be given the full consideration it deserves,” Bowers, R-Mesa, said in a statement late Monday.
The president’s comment echoes his action last week, when he handed over Rep. John Fllmore’s legislation that would allow the Legislature to overturn election results it disagrees with. the 12 committees of the House. It was a seemingly unprecedented decision and an unambiguous sign that House Bill 2596 would get no traction in the House of Representatives.
Likewise, Bowers’ comment on Monday seems to indicate that the Finchem resolution will not pass to a vote of the full House.
Finchem, R-Oro Valley and a candidate for the GOP nomination for secretary of state, did not immediately return requests for comment.
Finchem is asking lawmakers to void and decertify the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma counties. Its resolution outlines numerous discrepancies, “both criminal and non-criminal,” in the election results, rendering the results unreliable, the bill says.
His list of these differences fills seven pages of the resolution. They range from chain of custody violations for Maricopa County ballots, to observations by pollwatchers that votes were switched from candidate Trump to candidate Biden without any explanation, to a review of questions aired during a November 30, 2020 meeting in Phoenix. which Finchem helped bring together and which included members of then-President Trump‘s legal team.
Finchem’s resolution, introduced on the last day lawmakers could introduce bills, received a boost from Donald Trump’s Political Action Committee.
“Big news in Arizona!” the statement said, and linked to Finchem’s press release.
The resolution calls on Congress to recognize that the Arizona Legislature is nullifying election results in all three counties “due to the irretrievably flawed nature of these elections which precludes the declaration of a clear winner from said presidential voters.”
Many claims included in Finchem’s resolution have been debunked. Maricopa County, for example, released a point-by-point rebuttal of issues raised by Cyber Ninjas and other Senate contractors, claiming nearly all of them were misleading, inaccurate, or untrue.
He accused Pima County, without proof, of voter fraud based on an anonymous tip that Democrats hatched a plan to add 35,000 votes in Pima County. Pima County officials called the accusation false.
Democracy in doubt: White House Phone Calls, Baseless Fraud Accusations: The Origins of Arizona’s Election Review
In a press release, Finchem notes that while Arizona does not have a process to decertify election results, he believes the Legislature has the power to appoint its own voters.
The bill does not mention the many other races and measures that have appeared on the 2020 ballot, including voters’ approval of an education tax hike, the legalization of marijuana or the election’s own from Finchem to a state legislative seat.
Ten House Republicans have signed the bill. They are Reps Brenda Barton from Payson, Leo Biasiucci from Lake Havasu City, Judy Burges from Skull Valley, Neal Carter from San Tan Valley, Joseph Chaplik from Scottsdale, Lupe Diaz from Benson, Fillmore from Apache Junction, Teresa Martinez from Casa Grande , Quang Nguyen from Prescott and Jennifer Parker from Mesa.
Senators Sonny Borrelli of Lake Havasu City, Wendy Rogers of Flagstaff and Kelly Townsend of Mesa also co-sponsored the bill.
Bowers resisted pressure from Trump allies in late 2020 to launch an audit of US presidential and Senate election results. This effort was successful in the State Senate.