This is part of a series from The Copper Courier highlighting the Arizona legislators involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection or the events leading up to it. Read the rest here.
Rep. Kevin Payne served in the US Navy for eight years before he was honorably discharged. He worked as an electrical engineer, aerospace technical consultant, and small-business owner before running for office. He was elected to represent District 21, which covers portions of Peoria and Sun City, in 2017. He was re-elected in 2020.
Payne, who owns a BBQ food truck with his wife, came under fire in 2018 after he proposed legislation that would reduce regulation and benefit his own business.
Contributions to the Insurrection
Payne signed on to a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to accept 11 “alternate” electoral votes for Trump or to have all of the state’s electoral votes “nullified completely until a full forensic audit can be conducted.”
In the weeks since, Payne sponsored a number of bills that would have made voting harder for many Arizonans. One bill proposed eliminating the Permanent Early Voting List entirely.
He was also behind a bill that sought to require all mail-in ballots to be notarized and require a voter ID for turning in mail-in ballots in person. The bill also would have placed additional limits on who can help voters in collecting and delivering mail-in ballots. Payne, who was a fervent supporter of the unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, claimed the extra step would prevent people from sending in ballots with fake signatures.
However, the eight legal challenges to the election found no evidence that there was voter fraud based on fake signatures.