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Tucson lawmaker's proposal would give Arizona's 11 electoral votes to Trump even before election

A plan by a first-term Tucson lawmaker to have Arizona give its 11 electoral votes to Donald Trump even before the November election has blown up as even some Republican colleagues found it unacceptable.

Rep. Barbara Parker, R-Mesa, who chairs the House Committee on Municipal Oversight and Elections, adjourned a meeting late Wednesday without taking a vote on HCR 2055 after it became obvious that it would not be approved. That is because two GOP lawmakers on the panel questioned both the legality and the political wisdom of scrapping the system used here since statehood of letting voters choose who they want for president in favor of giving that power to the Republican-controlled Legislature.

And with all Democrats opposed, that left the proposal by Rep. Rachel Jones without the votes.

Strictly speaking, HCR 2055 as crafted by Jones would not have appointed the electors, at least not yet. Instead, her proposal urged Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs to sign bills on the wish list of Republicans who insist the 2020 and 2022 elections were stolen, including scrapping early voting and having all ballots cast by and counted by hand.

Only if she refused would the Republican lawmakers pull the trigger and award the electoral votes to the Republican nominee, presumably Trump.

Jones is relying on a reading of the U.S. Constitution which says the Legislature has "full plenary authority over presidential elections.'' And that, she said, entitles lawmakers to act.

Republican Josh Barnett, who lost his own 2022 bid for Congress, told lawmakers they have an obligation to act.

"Where we are today, at this point, can you guarantee the people that you represent that the 2024 presidential election will be legally run and administered according to law?'' he asked. "If you cannot guarantee that, then we are asking you to appoint the presidential electors right now via a resolution.''

Parker's plan is a resolution, so it would have no force of law even if passed.

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