U.S. Supreme Court sets hearing for Arizona ‘ballot harvesting’ law

Voting ballot in Maricopa County (file)

The U.S. Supreme Court said it will hear arguments in March on an Arizona law that prohibits anyone but a family member, household member or caregiver from returning another person’s early election ballot.

A federal appeals court in January 2020 struck down Arizona’s ban on so-called "ballot harvesting," ruling that it violated the Voting Rights Act, disproportionately affects Black, Latino and Indigenous voters and was enacted with discriminatory intent.

RELATED: Supreme Court to review Arizona ‘ballot harvesting’ law

The appeals court also found that the state’s policy of discarding ballots if a voter went to the wrong precinct violates the law.

The case began after Republicans in Arizona passed the law making it a felony to return someone else’s ballot to election officials in most cases and Democrats sued, arguing the practice is important for voters who do not have transportation, a nearby polling place or timely mail service.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, argued that the ban is a basic means of curbing the potential of fraud or tampering during an election.

The law remained in effect through the presidential election in November. The appeals court held its decision while the Supreme Court was asked to take the case.

Judge will not force Maricopa County to obey subpoena to access 2020 election votes

The Arizona GOP lawmakers said they want the county to turn over voting machines and records so the Legislature can audit Maricopa County’s handling of the election.

Two indicted for ballot harvesting in Yuma County

The indictment alleges that during the August 2020 primary election, the two knowingly collected four voted ballots from another person and attempted to cast them in violation of Arizona law.

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