The United States Supreme Court upheld Arizona voting rules aimed at safeguarding the ballots. It ruled that the state’s new laws restricting the movement of certain ballots are legal. This includes restricting ballot harvesting. It also forbids voters from submitting votes outside of their registered home precinct.
Arizona Voting Laws Do Not Violate Voting Rights Act
Earlier, the Democratic National Committee said that Arizona’s new rules violate the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Specifically, VRA’s Section 2 prohibits any rule that hampers minorities when voting.
They said that 2 particular new Arizona voting laws discriminate against monitories. The first is the policy that invalidates ballots submitted at the wrong precinct. The other is the law making it a felony for a person to submit the ballot of another.
Instead, the SC issued a 6-3 decision that said neither policy violated Section 2. This overturns an earlier ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the court’s opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts concurred with the majority. Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett joined them.
Arizona Voting Rules Make It Easy To Vote
The SC also noted that Arizona law “generally makes it quite easy” for residents to vote. In addition, the state already made efforts to offset burdens to voters. The state regularly sends notices to all voters when precinct locations change. It also requires election officials to send sample ballots to each voter’s home. The sample includes information on the location of the correct voting center location.
The SC also noted that the Arizona Secretary of State’s office sends polling information. Voters can also choose to look for their station online or call a voting helpdesk. “Having to identify one’s own polling place and then travel there to vote does not exceed the ‘usual burdens of voting. On the contrary, these tasks are quintessential examples of the usual burdens of voting,” Alito wrote.
Ballot Harvesting Allegations
Meanwhile, the SC also looked into the ballot harvesting law. The tribunal said that in line with the lower court findings, the DNC didn’t do much to support their argument. The DNC failed to provide any records of how many people used third parties to deliver ballots.
Nor did the DMC provide data of how many disadvantaged voters were minorities. In fact, Alito noted that the lower court did not find any evidence of disadvantages. “None of the individual voters called by the plaintiffs had even claimed that the ballot collection restriction ‘would make it significantly more difficult to vote.'”
In other words, the SC said that the plaintiffs didn’t provide statistical evidence. They have no data to conclude that the new voting laws impacted minorities. Plus, the witnesses were American voters who are likely to use third parties for ballot delivery.
In conclusion, the new Arizona Voting laws have nothing that restricts voters further. “As with the out-of-precinct policy, the modest evidence of racially disparate burdens caused by HB 2023, in light of the State’s justifications, leads us to the conclusion that the law does not violate S2 of the VRA,” the court said.
SC Committed To Challenging Discriminatory Laws
Despite their ruling, the Justice Department reiterated its duty to ensure equal access for all. The body “remains strongly committed to challenging discriminatory election laws and will continue to use every legal tool available to protect all qualified Americans seeking to participate in the electoral process.
The department urges Congress to enact additional legislation to provide more effective protection for every American’s right to vote.”
Watch the CBS News video reporting that the US Supreme Court upholds Arizona voting rules:
Do you agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the new Arizona voting laws? In addition, do you agree that the new laws never aimed for voter suppression?
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