June 29, 2021
WASHINGTON — In a sweeping decision, the Supreme Court upheld two major state laws designed to prevent voter fraud and secure the voting process. The repercussions of the decision could serve as a roadblock to the Department of Justice’s election lawsuit against the state of Georgia.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld two election integrity provisions of Arizona law. The first rule, known as the “out of precinct” policy, requires election officials to discard an entire ballot if it was cast in the wrong place.
The second rule bans the collection of ballots by third parties, commonly referred to as “ballot harvesting.” In 2016, Arizona passed a state law making it a felony for anyone other than a family member, caregiver or postal worker to collect and deliver ballots.
Democrats argued two Arizona election integrity rules violated federal law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit agreed, ruling both policies violate Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act, which bans racial discrimination in voting.
The 9th Circuit asserted that both polices had a discriminatory impact. Republicans, including Attorney General Mark Brnovich appealed to the Supreme Court.
At oral arguments before the Supreme Court, Michael Carvin, a lawyer for the Republican National Committee, urged the justices to reverse the 9th Circut’s decision, arguing it would “subject nearly all ordinary elections rules” to challenge.
Writing for the 6-3 majority, Justice Alito upheld the legality of Arizona’s election laws. “Arizona’s out-of-precinct policy and HB 2023 [ballot harvesting restrictions] do not violate §2 of the VRA, and HB 2023 was not enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose,” Alito wrote.
Read the opinion: