ARIZONA NEWS

US Supreme Court ruling allows Arizona to keep voting laws in place

Jul 1, 2021, 7:08 AM | Updated: 2:33 pm
(AP Photos)...
(AP Photos)
(AP Photos)

PHOENIX – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that Arizona can keep two voting laws in place, including one that bans ballot harvesting.

“Today is a win for election integrity safeguards in Arizona and across the country,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a press release.

The justices released their decision on the high court’s final opinion day of the term. The vote was 6-3.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for a conservative majority that the state’s interest in the integrity of elections justified the measures.

In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the court was weakening the landmark voting rights law for the second time in eight years.

Brnovich argued before the nine-member Supreme Court, which has six conservative justices appointed by Republican presidents, in March, asking them to overturn an appeals court ruling against a 2016 Arizona law that limits who can return early ballots for another person.

He also wanted a separate state policy of discarding ballots if a voter goes to the wrong precinct to be upheld.

Brnovich filed the petitions in April 2020.

A federal appeals court ruled in January 2020 that Arizona’s 2016 anti-harvesting law, which bars anyone but a family member or caregiver from returning another person’s early ballot, violates the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution.

The court also rejected the state’s policy of discarding ballots if a voter went to the wrong precinct.

During arguments in February, the justices seemed likely to upend that ruling and allow the Arizona restrictions to remain in place.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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US Supreme Court ruling allows Arizona to keep voting laws in place