Supreme Court Rules Arizona Law Against Ballot Harvesting 'Not Racist'

Supreme Court Rules Arizona Law Against Ballot Harvesting
'Not Racist' 1

The US Supreme Court upheld two election integrity laws in Arizona on Thursday, in what may pave the way for other states to enact similar measures to prevent potential voter fraud.

Illustration via the Arizona Capitol Times

Voting 6-3 along ideological lines, the Court rejected Democrat claims that the Arizona laws – one which bans “ballot harvesting” in which third party activists collect and return other people’s ballots – and another which invalidates votes cast in the wrong precinct – don’t violate the 1965 landmark Voting Rights Act, according to Bloomberg.

The ruling comes as Republican-controlled states move forward with a bevy of similar laws aimed at improving election integrity.

Democrats argued that the Arizona laws disproportionately affect voters of color – claiming in an example that it’s particularly useful to the state’s Native American population because polling locations can be far away and mail service isn’t always reliable.

A clearly disappointed Axios provides more context:

  • The Supreme Court in 2013 effectively invalidated the “preclearance” provision of the Voting Rights Act, which used to require states and local governments to clear voting rule changes with the federal government if they had a history of discrimination.
  • All that’s left now is to challenge new rules after they take effect under a different provision of the law.
  • In today’s case, Democrats and voting-rights advocates feared not only that the court would uphold Arizona’s specific restrictions, but that it would also close the door — or begin closing the door — to many other after-the-fact challenges.

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