AZ Senate votes against bill expanding attorney general election investigation powers

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - 12:05pm
Updated: Friday, June 3, 2022 - 3:39pm

Arizona senators have voted against a bill that would provide more powers for the attorney general to investigate elections. The measure, proposed by Republican lawmakers, would have given the attorney general and county attorneys the authority to enforce state election laws on members of Congress and presidential electors. 

But Republican Sen. Paul Boyer voted against it, saying it violates the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution that puts certain federal issues out of reach of state laws. 

"This is a massive power shift to the AG and to the county attorneys generally. It also says the AG and county attorneys can subpoena anybody in connection with their duties to enforce election laws. The language is broad enough to loop in anybody they want with no probable cause requirements," Boyer said.

The measure would also have allowed the attorney general to study or copy any account, book or record related to elections. Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Kelly Townsend hopes to revive the measure later in the legislative session.

Politics Elections