Arizona political leaders react to Supreme Court ruling on voting laws

Jul 1, 2021, 10:01 AM
FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2020, file photo Maricopa County elections officials count ballots at the Ma...

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2020, file photo Maricopa County elections officials count ballots at the Maricopa County Recorder's Office in Phoenix. The Supreme Court has upheld voting restrictions in Arizona in a decision that could make it harder to challenge other voting measures put in place by Republican lawmakers following last year's elections. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

PHOENIX – Reaction rolled in from Arizona political leaders Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld two state voting laws that a lower court had deemed discriminatory.

By a 6-3 vote, the nation’s highest court decided that state laws that restrict ballot harvesting and require ballots cast in the wrong precinct to be thrown out can remain in place.

The decision overruled a federal appeals court that said the measures disproportionately affected Black, Hispanic and Native American voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

Arizona Republican leaders applauded the ruling as a victory for election integrity and states’ rights, while Democrats saw it as an affront to voting rights.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2022, defended the case before the Supreme Court earlier this year.

“Today is a win for election integrity safeguards in Arizona and across the country,” Brnovich said in a statement Thursday.

“Fair elections are the cornerstone of our republic, and they start with rational laws that protect both the right to vote and the accuracy of the results.”

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey called the ruling, “A big victory for Arizona voters, the rule of law and the integrity of our elections,” in a tweet.

State Democrats, however, are saying the ruling is a reason new federal voting laws are needed.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the state’s top elections official and a Democratic candidate for governor, said in a statement that “Congress must act to protect voting rights.”

“The Voting Rights Act was passed to protect the right to vote and to fight against racial discrimination,” she added. “The Supreme Court weakened one of our country’s landmark civil rights laws.”

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego tweeted that the Arizona laws suppress minority voters and echoed Hobbs’ call for congressional action.

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Arizona political leaders react to Supreme Court ruling on voting laws