As Republicans Push to Limit Voting, Disagreements on Strategy Emerge

As Republicans Push to Limit Voting, Disagreements on Strategy Emerge
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In Arizona, Mr. Kavanagh, a committee chairman in the state House of Representatives, noted that Republicans’ bill to allow the Legislature to overturn certified presidential election results had never even been assigned to a committee.

Neither was the proposed measure to repeal the permanent early voting list, which is how more than three million voters in Arizona get their ballots.

Mr. Kavanagh said the list was “tremendously popular with Democrats, Republicans and independents,” and therefore made no sense to do away with.

Most proposals like these — inspired by a misinformation campaign from Mr. Trump and allies like Rudolph W. Giuliani, who pressured Republican lawmakers to interfere with their state’s certification process — are dead, not just in Florida and Arizona but also in other states like Georgia, where Republicans set off a national uproar over voting rights. “But that part never got written, or was rarely covered in the newspapers,” Mr. Kavanagh said.

This year in Florida, lawmakers introduced legislation to ban drop boxes, limit who can collect ballots for other voters and restrict access to people in voting lines, among other provisions. The proposals were met with swift and forceful opposition from county elections supervisors, perhaps none whose opinion carried more weight than D. Alan Hays of Lake County. Mr. Hays, a conservative Republican who had previously served in the State Senate for 12 years, told his former colleagues at a legislative hearing last month that their bill was a “travesty.”

“In my role as supervisor of elections, I’m focusing on policy,” he said in an interview. “I don’t pay any attention to party. If it’s a good idea, we should give it every opportunity to succeed. And if it’s a bad idea, we should do everything we can to stop it from being implemented.”

He and other supervisors worked phones and emails to explain to lawmakers the nuances of how elections are run and why some of their provisions would be impractical. This month, after the controversy over Georgia’s new voting law, the Florida House softened its version of the voting bill; the proposal that ultimately passed out of the State Senate committee on Tuesday did not include some of the most stringent original provisions, like a ban on drop boxes (the availability of which it still limits).



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