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Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights

Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights
© MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said that Arizona’s new voting restrictions are an “assault” on the tribe’s voting rights.

Nez’s comments come after Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyDucey issues executive order against ASU mask policy Beyond California, a record year for recalls On The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP MORE (R) this month signed into law several GOP-led bills aimed at election reforms.

Most notably was Senate Bill 1485, which reforms the state’s permanent early voting list into an active early voting list. People would be removed from the list after they don’t participate in two prior general election cycles.

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“This is an assault to the election process for people of color throughout this country,” Nez told The Associated Press. “Here in Arizona, it’s pushing back on the voters of tribal communities, and we came out in big numbers to vote our candidate of choice, which is President BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE.”

State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R), who sponsored SB 1485, told the AP that claims of voter suppression are “unfounded.”

“Not everything has to do with Biden and Trump,” she said. “These are important cleanups and fixes. It makes sense”

Arizona is one of several GOP-led states aggressively pushing election reform measures this year amid former President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE’s repeated pushing of baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Georgia, Florida and Texas have also passed laws restricting voting measures.

Arizona and Georgia were both states that Biden won in 2020. He was the first Democrat to carry Arizona since 1996, and the first to carry Georgia since 1992.

According to the AP, voter turnout among tribal lands in the Grand Canyon State surged in 2020 compared to 2016 despite the coronavirus pandemic, helping contribute to Biden’s win.

The state Senate is currently conducting an audit of 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County, an attempt largely viewed as a political effort to appease supporters of Trump who think the election was fraudulent.