The Arizona House passed a bill along party lines Tuesday that would make it illegal for state secretaries of state to oversee and confirm the results of elections in which they are also candidates.
The bill passed 31-29 and now heads to the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans. Its primary sponsor is Republican Rep. Rachel Jones. It would require secretaries of state to recuse themselves from overseeing their own elections and to publicly appoint others who would do the job, instead.
NBC News has asked state Secretary of State Adrian Fontes’ office for comment.
The bill was initially introduced when Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, was secretary of state while she was running for governor last year. Hobbs defeated Republican Kari Lake, who was backed by former President Donald Trump and pushed his false claims of widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Hobbs refused to debate Lake, with her campaign saying it wouldn’t be fruitful to debate “a conspiracy theorist.” Lake has made several unsuccessful attempts to overturn her defeat in the governor’s race.
Hobbs has not publicly commented on the bill’s passage in the House. As governor, she would have to sign the bill for it to become law.
The House passed the bill after its Municipal Oversight and Elections Committee passed it last month alongside three other election-related bills sponsored by Republicans. Jones at the time described the bill as “one more step toward a transparent election process” in the state.
State House Democrats slammed the party-line vote as one of Republicans’ “bad election bills” on Twitter.
Jones thanked her Republican colleagues for helping pass the bill along party lines.