The Republican opera bouffe “audit” of Maricopa County ballots is attracting national attention now that Georgia and the major players there have gone silent. The issues raised in Georgia’s legislation are surely going to the courts there.

Arizona’s situation is absolutely nuts. In the Legislature, the most damaging legislation that would torque a perfectly good election system into a Republican-run set of Lego blocks has been blocked—not by the Democratic Senate minority—but by a single Republican member who thinks the bill doesn’t go far enough.

In the meantime, the “auditors” handpicked by Senate President Karen Fann appear to be wholly unqualified and biased. Senator Fann should be ashamed of being so overtly biased in selecting Cyber Ninjas to meddle with the Maricopa County ballots, equipment, and technology. The courts also bear some shame in permitting this sham audit to proceed.

The only thing that keeps our situation from making Arizona a national laughingstock are the outrageous legislative steps to “out-Georgia” by the great states of Texas and Florida to suppress voting by people in large cities, minority voters anywhere, and communities where people are likely to vote Democratic.

Fighting rigged elections

The fervent Republicans have decided that the only way to continue their grip on political power (notice I did not say governance – Republicans show no interest in governing) is to prevent their opponents from winning elections by rigging the game in their favor. What’s a Democrat to do as elected Republicans are undermining our democratic republic at both state and federal levels?

First: Shout like hell! Let your neighbors and friends know that you know what’s happening, and they should be as concerned as you are.

Second: Prepare for a legal battle royal in both state and federal courts. Several legal defense organizations, starting with the ACLU, are girding for legal battles in state and federal courts. Donate: give them your money to help them carry on the fight.

Third: Get ready for a down and dirty fight at the polls in 2022. We will need to mobilize our Democratic base and prepare to turn out voters in an increasingly difficult environment. Even in Arizona, voting early and by mail may be harder. We are likely to have to win an election rigged in Republicans’ favor.

In an election such as this, we must not forget the former Republican voters repulsed by the actions of their so-called leaders here and in Washington. Many have changed their registration — some to Democratic and some to independent. We need to reach out and make them feel welcome to support Democratic candidates from the State Legislature up to the Halls of Congress in Washington.

Fourth: Help might be on the way from the feds. Two critical bills lay trapped in a U. S. Senate constipated by a truculent Republican minority with no intent to cooperate with the Democratic majority. Our so-called “Senior Senator” sits on the fence, unwilling to vote with other Democrats to lower the filibuster barrier. We need to get these bills passed so that the U. S. Department of Justice can take action to block the implementation of state laws that overtly block voter participation and threaten fair elections. Senator Sinema needs to hear from all of us, over and over, that it’s just wrong at this time to pursue “bipartisanship” when the other party doesn’t want to be bipartisan.

Every week that goes by without progress but with more obstructive activity by Republicans jeopardizes our ability to correct the errors of the past four years, and to make up for lost opportunities throughout the past two. The good work did not end with the election of 2020 — it just got started.