Arizona Democratic Party formally censures Sinema

U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) walks inside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) – The executive committee of the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) formally censured U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema over her vote against changing rules in the chamber to steer through voting rights legislation, the state party said on Saturday.

Sinema was one of two Democratic senators who joined with Republicans to vote against lowering the Senate’s 60-vote threshold to 50 so that the Senate could pass voting rights bill without bipartisan support.

Raquel Teran, the state party’s chair, said in a Saturday statement they supported Sinema’s votes to pass legislation to provide more coronavirus relief and to improve the nation’s infrastructure.

“While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the ADP Executive Board has decided to formally censure Senator Sinema as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy,” Teran added.

Experts and voting rights advocates say the states have passed the legislation largely to back former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was marred by rampant fraud.

In Sinema’s home state of Arizona, state Senate Republicans contracted a private company called Cyber Ninjas to perform a so-called “audit” of the 2020 election. Election officials discredited the probe, with Arizona’s Secretary of State issuing a report saying the election was secure and accurate and calling the review “secretive and disorganized.”

The company has since shut down after a judge ordered it to pay $50,0000 a day in fines, according to media reports.

Sinema co-sponsored the Senate version of election overhaul legislation, but has publicly stated repeatedly she opposed changing filibuster rules.

Sinema’s office shrugged off the censure in a statement.

“During three terms in the U.S. House, and now in the Senate, Kyrsten has always promised Arizonans she would be an independent voice for the state – not for either political party. She’s delivered for Arizonans and has always been honest about where she stands,” a spokesperson said.

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