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Arizona voter suppression bill stalls for now due to GOP infighting

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A bill aimed at changing the mail-in voting process in Arizona, including stopping some voters from automatically receiving ballots, has stalled following an intense back-and-forth between the bill's sponsor and another GOP lawmaker on Thursday.



Senate. But after coming back to the Senate floor from caucusing on changes to the legislation, GOP Sen. Kelly Townsend said she was voting against the legislation and any other election bills pending a Republican-backed audit of some of the state's mail-in ballots from the 2020 presidential election.

The so-called audit ordered by the Republican-controlled Senate was expected to begin on Friday despite the election results already undergoing multiple reviews that found no evidence of widespread fraud and ultimately being certified by state election officials. But in a last-minute attempt to stop or at least delay the audit of Maricopa County's 2.1 million 2020 election ballots, lawyers for the Arizona Democratic Party and Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, a Democrat, filed suit Thursday in Maricopa Superior Court, asking for an immediate restraining order.

The audit has become highly controversial, with complaints from both the county and the secretary of state's office.

"I have communicated to the whip, to the caucus, that I am not going to be voting on any election integrity bills from this point forward until after we have results that come from the audit," Townsend said earlier Thursday.



Ugenti-Rita then voted against her own bill, in a move that allows the senator to bring the legislation forward again.

The bill failed on a vote of 14-16.


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