A Trump rally in Arizona and a right-to-suffrage march underscore the fight for democracy

Some fear a return to the past and hear echoes of Jim Crow in the present.

The other was convinced through an ongoing disinformation campaign that elections in the United States are rigged.

Trump showed in Florence on Saturday what kind of “vote tellers” he endorses.

When he spoke at his rally, Kari-See, Trump’s pick for governor, said there are a few people she “would like to send to jail here in Florence.
Markus Finchem, an Arizona State official whom Trump has backed as Secretary of State as the state’s top election official, has previously repeated QAnon-type conspiracy theories about election officials and continues to claim that the Arizona vote was stolen from Trump, which has been widely disproved. Also a partisan examination of Maricopa County results, commissioned by state Senate Republicans, confirmed Biden’s victory in the county.
Finchem has previously been linked to the Oath Keepers, a far-right group. Some of its members were Charged last week with ‘seditious conspiracy’ in connection with the attack on the US Capitol.

“I look forward to the day we undo an irretrievably flawed election. This is the election of 2020. With all the evidence we have, the Arizona election should be invalidated by lawmakers for good reason,” Finchem said, echoing the former president’s lies from the podium at his Saturday rally.

A year-long ongoing attack on the integrity of America’s elections has paved the way for making candidates like this the natural choice of Trump in 2022, while simultaneously trying to exert his influence on the GOP — including local election officials — he has another bid for eyeing the White House in 2024 Balance sheet of the Washington Post found that “at least 163 Republicans who have embraced Trump’s false claims are running for statewide positions that would give them authority over the administration of elections.”

But even at the Trump rally, there was rarely praise for a Democrat.

“She’s our representative, she represents the state, she’s not partisan, she’s what’s good for the country,” said Robbie Kimsey, an Arizona constituent and Trump supporter Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

Sinema, along with West Virginia Sen. Joe Machin, is blocking the passage of two voting rights bills that Democrats hope could counter some of the restrictive voting measures Republicans are enacting at the state level. Sinema has said she supports the bills but is not in favor of changing Senate rules to get them through.

The opposition from these two moderate Democrats is frustrating voter rights activists, including those gathered in Arizona this weekend.

“She says she wants voting rights, but how do you want voting rights without making a way for it? That’s inconsistent, that’s unacceptable,” Martin Luther King III, son of Martin Luther King Jr., told CNN in Phoenix Saturday.

The King family had traveled to Arizona to attend a suffrage march and urged Sinema to act – warning that history would not judge them kindly.

“I think we’re really at a pivotal moment” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democratic hopeful for the governor, told CNN.

Hobbs said democracy took hold in 2020 because election officials on both sides of the aisle got their jobs done — but now that Trump-backed electoral deniers are running for jobs that would give them electoral authority, the future is less certain.

“I think the 2022 election will determine the future of our democracy,” Hobbs said.

That was a sentiment shared by Yolanda Renee King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s 13-year-old granddaughter, who was in Phoenix this weekend with her family and told CNN, “I think it’s so important to vote and it’s so important to have the right to vote because right now our country is at stake.”



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