The United States Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of an Arizona voting law which restricted the practices of ballot harvesting and absentee voting.
The Court upheld Arizona’s law in their ruling, saying that states are allowed to pass their own laws to prevent voter fraud. Multiple voting rights croups were critical of the law, claiming that it disenfranchises thousands of voters.
Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the Court’s majority opinion said that Arizona’s voting laws make the act of voting “very easy.” He added that the state has an “entirely legitimate state interest” by trying to prevent election fraud. Continuing, he said that election fraud is dangerous because it can affect a close election’s outcome, dilute citizens legitimate votes, and reduce public confidence in election fairness and the “perceived legitimacy of the… outcome.”
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who supported the case and presented it before the court, championed the ruling, calling the decision a major victory “for election integrity safeguards.” He added that the “cornerstone of our republic” is “fair elections,” and continued by stating that fair elections start with “rational laws” which can protect voting accuracy and voting rights.
Conservative voting rights groups also praised the ruling. The Public Interest Legal Foundation and Honest Elections Project both said that this ruling could lead to better secured elections.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed the voting bill into law back in May, declaring the state to be a national leader in voting rights and election integrity after the bill’s signing.
The bill removed citizens from the state’s “active early voting list” if they had not voted in two consecutive elections by mail. The change doesn’t affect voters’ registration and is an effort on the part of the state to stop wasting resources by sending ballots out to individuals who do not normally vote by mail.
The law also placed a ban on ballot harvesting, a practice wherein volunteers affiliated with a particular party or candidate collect mail-in ballots door-to-door and then deliver them to polling centers or drop-boxes. In the 2020 election, the only state which prohibited ballot submissions on behalf of another was Alabama.
Author: Kathy Marshall