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What the Devil won't tell you

Told ya so: Az Republicans moving to fix 'dysfunction' of Democrats winning statewide

Readers like shorter columns and I love it when I can say I told you so.

So here’s a quick take on a big issue distilled to its bite-sized elements. Whether Republicans are using election rules to suppress votes is no longer up for debate after Sen. Michelle Urgenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale) offered a bill to ban voters receiving early ballots from dropping them off at polling places on Election Day. The bill has cleared a committee vote and is moving along nicely.

Golly, what could have prompted such a bill from a Republican sponsor?

She said the bill is meant to put an end to the "chaotic" and "dysfunctional" results of the 2018 election in Arizona. Democrats were trailing on election night. Once all of the votes were counted, Republicans lost. So Ugenti-Rita’s solution is to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

I told you this was coming but it hardly took a genius to predict the modern GOP, which runs on a rudimentary binary code: "It's voting Democrat. Kill it."

Critics say it’s a solution without a problem. Oh, there was a problem with the 2018 election results in Arizona, all right. Republicans lost.

The decisive votes – inasmuch as when they are counted is decisive – came in on the day they were due. The GOP is framing those ballots as "late." The 228,000 votes that walked through polling place doors after having been mailed to voters represented more than 10 percent of the total votes cast.

Ugenti-Rita says voting will be simpler in the future. Do it her way or your vote won't be counted, libtards.

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“You get it sent to you and then you return it,” she said of a mail-in ballot. “If that’s something that’s not working for you then become a in-person voter.”

And that’s just it. Permissivism plagued the 2018 elections. We are allowing early voters to have it both ways. They both want the convenience of voting ahead of time and we are rewarding their procrastination by counting their votes.

What kind of person does that?

Not the kind who should be voting. Next thing you know we'll be granting the right to vote to the kind of people who have trouble getting a state ID. Lord knows we don't want sketchy characters like that deciding elections. They are not the right kind of people.

Voters are the problem when they vote for the other side and someone should do something about them.

Enter Ugenti-Rita to teach voters a lesson under the guise of simplification.

“I take umbrage with this characterization that this is going to be more confusing and because it just won’t,” Ugenti-Rita said. “It’s not nearly as dramatic as it’s being characterized.”

Umbrage? You take umbrage do you? How dare we accuse you of doing exactly what it is you are doing.

Past problems, no problem

Election 2014 turned Ron Barber out of office but only after a protracted process that required counting every vote well after election night was over. Who won that race? Oh, that’s right. Republican Martha McSally.

The Legislature didn’t need to take action then because the right person won. 

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Yet when Secretary of State Katie Hobbs came from behind to win late in addition to fellow Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, well now it’s a crisis.

This same system has been in place for years. In 1996, U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth and Steve Owens had to wait a couple days to find out the Republican was re-elected. Every year in newsrooms, editors plan for election night coverage and seem to forget that the results can take days.

Every single year some "late" votes must be counted to see who won key races. The Legislature never says “boo.” She has been in the Legislature following five elections and four of them were perfectly fine with those supposed "late" votes being counted.

Then the party tied its collective ass to Donald John Trump and Maricopa County voters revolted. The Party of Lincoln became the Party of Trump and Democrats started winning statewide.

Real reform

So here are some elections reforms the GOP can take to stop these results in the future:

Stop defending a president who lies an average of five times a day by saying "he does things his own way."

Stop defending government theft of children of asylum seekers following the law as an extra judicial punishment for being brown in America.

Stop coddling white supremacists, while bitching about Black Lives Matter.

Stop treating sexual harassment like the divine right of males.

Stop treating sexual assault as a false flag because your president bragged about it.

Stop blaming immigrants for wealth disparity and automation.

Stop conflating Hondurans with ISIS.

Stop treating anything short of propaganda as work of the enemy of the American people.

Stop sucking up to Vladimir Putin and don’t seem so eager to replace multilateral democracies with a multi-national syndicate of crime bosses running their countries through despotism.

Stop bitching about public corruption investigations into a guy who’s been called a “dangerous,” “a cancer,” “utterly amoral,” and “a con man.” That’s just Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Hey, Republicans. You guys knew this was going to happen to your party. You were the ones warning the world in 2015 and 2016 so stop pretending the rest of us noticing is "fake news."

And what the hell is up with this talk of civil war (i.e. "terrorism") if Congress holds Trump accountable for his actions?

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Democrats found Republicans unbeatable statewide in recent years. They were absolutely bullet-proof so long as they were just cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs crazy at the legislative level.  They only got beatable, once they decided to go full-tilt bonkers for a Dear Leader who tweets his real-time insecurities and self-loathing through cyberspace as he treats America like a country that failed upwards until he arrived.

The problem Arizona Republicans face has nothing to do with Arizona procrastinators.

President Rubio wouldn't have created your headache. He'd have pissed off a whole bunch of us to no end, but he's not a guy so defined by the Seven Deadly Sins that if you remove just one of them, he's a whole new man.

Logistical contempt

Ugenti-Rita’s bill would create a logistical nightmare the likes of which would require counties like Maricopa to keep on hand every ballot, from every school district on hand.

The state could invest in technology to give real time updates on who voted where and if someone is trying to vote twice in a country where we have enough trouble getting people to vote once. That would fix the problem, such as it is not.

Just make early voters stand in line with the rest of us. That's legit. If the problem is their filled-out ballot may somehow put the whammy on us as electioneering, make them carry it in an envelope.

That's legit but it's won't do the trick.

Stop treating the non-MAGA universe with utter contempt, triple-dog-daring them to vote against you. That's most of the country and there's nowhere to hide from them on Election Day.

Final suggestion: Stop attacking democracy. Try winning votes instead.

Blake Morlock is an award-winning columnist who worked in daily journalism for nearly 20 years and is a former communications director for the Pima County Democratic Party. Now he’s telling you things the Devil won’t.


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Legislature trying to fix the problem of Republicans losing by changing voter rules.