PHOENIX - Early voting is essential. That was the message from a group on the state capitol lawn on March 16.
The Arizona Republican Party filed a lawsuit, asking the Arizona Supreme Court to rule early voting is unconstitutional.
A Democratic senator from the Navajo Nation, a former Marine, and a retired senior joined forces in a fight.
"We are fighting for the right to vote," said District 30 State Senator Raquel Terán.
On the state capitol lawn, each gave reasons why banishing early voting would hurt their communities.
"The people I represent have to travel long distances to cast their votes. Many Arizonans in my district drive dozens of miles to get to their polling location. Which means being able to vote before election day isn't just convenient, it's absolutely essential," said District 7 State Senator Theresa Hatathlie from the Navajo Nation.
Sandra Cole of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans says retired seniors would be hurt without early voting.
"When I was in Afghanistan, it would take weeks, sometimes months to get our mail. How much time do you think we would have to get an absentee ballot, fill it out and mail it back without early voting? We wouldn't," said Caleb Hayter, former Marine.
On March 15, the League of Women Voters of Arizona filed an amicus brief with the Arizona Supreme Court, asking it to dismiss the early voting lawsuit.
We reached out to the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, and other Republicans, and are awaiting a response.
The lawsuit says Arizona's constitution calls for in-person voting and early mail-in voting does not satisfy that.
We will continue to follow any developments.
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