It would appear that our advocacy – your direct calls and e-mails to legislators is actually having an impact in that some of these more awful voter suppression bills have met with some resistance. However, they could be brought to a vote at any point while the legislature is in session – that means we have to stay vigilant for several more weeks.
One tactic that has helped in other states is to approach business supporters of the state legislators and appeal to them for help in bringing pressure to bear to turn the tide against these terrible and undemocratic efforts. We started push on Twitter earlier this week — please share from there.
Progress Now has issued this press release:
More than 30 Arizona voting rights organizations and community groups released a letter to Allstate Insurance, CVS Health, Enterprise Holdings, and Farmers’ Insurance, asking them to take a public stance against bills currently moving through the Arizona state legislature that would limit voting, criminalize protest and block police accountability.
The coalition is calling for all four companies to publicly oppose SB1713, SB1485, HB2309, HB2550, HB2567, and HB2295, among other bills, and to cease donations to the state legislators who introduced them.
- SB1713 would impose burdensome ID requirements on vote by mail voters. It has passed the Senate and is awaiting a floor vote in the House.
- SB1485 would purge 100,000+ Arizonans from the vote by mail list. It has passed the Senate and is awaiting a final floor vote in the House.
- HB2309 would criminalize protesters, making it easier for prosecutors to bring charges against protesters, especially Black and Brown protesters, who are exercising their First Amendment rights. It has passed the House and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate.
- HB2550 aims to discourage people from making complaints about police abuse. It has passed the House and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate.
- HB2567 virtually guarantees that any discipline or firing of an officer by a chief of police will be overturned. It has passed the House and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate.
- HB2295 changes rules around the Brady List in order to reduce the consequences of police misconduct. It has passed the House and is awaiting a committee hearing in the Senate.
These bills are joined by dozens of other proposals introduced this session that undermine voting rights, attack democratic norms and institutions, criminalize protesters, and retaliate against last summer’s protests against police violence.
All four companies are among the largest corporate donors to the state legislators sponsoring these bills. Farmers’ Insurance has directly donated at least $27,800, Enterprise Holdings has directly donated at least $16,700, CVS has directly donated at least $9,700, and Allstate has directly donated at least $7,850, according to research compiled by journalist Judd Legum.
In addition, all four companies have made clear public statements about the importance of voting and civic engagement, as well as statements about the importance of racial justice. And yet all four have been silent about the bills currently moving through the Arizona state legislature.
“Words are not enough: our democracy and our fundamental rights are under attack, and we need to see action,” the letter read. “We are calling for you to speak out publicly, oppose these bills, and halt donations to the legislators who introduced them.”