CNN’s Brianna Keilar got into a testy exchange on Friday with Arizona state lawmaker John Kavanaugh (R) over the state’s voting rights bill, after Kavanaugh accused her of "spinning the truth" and said that her career "is politics and knows everything."
Keilar responded that she was not "spinning" and that the proposed legislation would disenfranchise voters. She also said it was meant to solve a problem of voter fraud "that doesn't exist."
The discussion was centered around a bill that would take a voter off the state’s mail-in voting list if they have not voted in two previous consecutive elections.
.@brikeilarcnn grills Arizona State Rep. John Kavanaugh on his state’s new election bill, which will stop some voters from automatically receiving mail-in ballots.— New Day (@NewDay) April 23, 2021
Keilar: “You’re solving a problem that doesn’t exist.”
Kavanaugh: “That’s not true.” pic.twitter.com/0PrCa7OUJw
The state House bill was passed in a 31-29 vote but was stopped in the Senate after a Republican switched his position to vote against the bill.
“First of all, in order to be purged, you have to not vote in any elections, and we’ve added municipal elections which are on different dates over this four-year period," Kavanaugh said. "You then have to not respond to a letter within three months and we added to the bill that the county recorders, if they have your phone number or email, have to reach out to you that way.”
Keilar said that phone numbers and addresses can change, especially for military families who have to move domestically frequently.
“You’re going to purge people who may have moved,” Keilar said.
Kavanaugh took issue with Keilar calling the bill a “purge” and said she was “spinning the truth.”
“I am not spinning it, either,” Keilar said. “Sir, you are not being honest and what you are saying doesn’t even line up with what you have said about votes. You talked about quality votes over quantity, I think that is loud and clear.”
“Dishonest. Somebody who doesn’t want to be registered to vote, who doesn’t ask for a ballot, who doesn’t follow politics, who doesn’t know the issues is a different voter from somebody like you whose career is politics and knows everything. I am not saying those people can’t vote, but if they don’t want to vote, I’m not shoving ballots in front of them,” Kavanaugh responded.
The exchange comes as voting rights have been a hot topic and the MLB pulled its All-Star game out of Georgia for their voting rights bill.
“Their will is to be on the list and sir, one vote is the same as another vote. This is our right. This is our right as Americans,” Keilar said as the segment ended.