Group challenges restrictions in Arizona election manual on ballot drop-off locations

Feb 13, 2024, 4:18 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — A conservative group is challenging parts of Arizona’s election procedures manual, marking the third lawsuit filed within the last two weeks that seeks to throw out provisions in the state’s guide for conducting elections.

The lawsuit by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club zeroes in on the manual’s instructions on operating ballot drop-off locations and preventing voter intimidation, saying the provisions are unconstitutional because they try to restrict protected speech. The group says the restrictions in the manual released in December by Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes’ office put people at risk to criminal prosecution for monitoring drop boxes and polling locations.

Complaints were made during Arizona’s 2022 election season that people wearing masks and carrying guns were intimidating voters who bring ballots to drop boxes in Arizona.

The manual said election officials may restrict activities that interfere with access to ballot drop-off locations. In a footnote, the manual gave examples of voter intimidation or harassment, including intentionally following someone delivering ballots to a drop box.

The manual also gave examples of what might be considered intimidation inside and outside polling places. Those include taunting or using threatening language toward a voter or election worker and directly confronting or photographing voters or poll workers in a harassing or intimidating manner.

Fontes’ office on Tuesday declined to comment on the lawsuit, which was filed on Friday.

Another lawsuit filed late last month by Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma alleged that parts of the manual conflicted with state law.

For example, Petersen and Toma took issue with the manual’s instruction on how to regard voters who respond on juror questionnaires that they don’t live in the relevant county in question and haven’t responded within 35 days to a notice from the county recorder to confirm their residency status.

The manual says those voters should be marked as inactive, while the legislative leaders say state law says those voters’ registrations should be cancelled, according to the lawsuit.

On Friday, the Republican National Committee, Republican Party of Arizona and Yavapai County Republican Party filed a lawsuit over several provisions of the manual. Among the lawsuit’s claims was an allegation that the period for public comment on the manual was too short.

AP (New)

Associated Press

Arizona judge declares mistrial in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a migrant

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona judge declared a mistrial Monday in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a Mexican man on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border. The decision came after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision after more than two full days of deliberation in trial of George Alan Kelly, […]

2 days ago

Associated Press

Jury weighs case against Arizona rancher in migrant killing

PHOENIX (AP) — A jury in southern Arizona resumed its deliberations Friday in the trial of a rancher charged with fatally shooting an unarmed migrant on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border. Jurors received the case Thursday afternoon after a nearly one-month trial in a presidential election year that has drawn widespread interest in border […]

5 days ago

Associated Press

Trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged in fatal shooting of unarmed migrant goes to the jury

NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — The trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged with fatally shooting an unarmed migrant on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border went to the jury Thursday. Jurors did not immediately reach a verdict and will resume deliberations Friday morning. In closing arguments earlier Thursday, lawyers debated the actions of 75-year-old George […]

6 days ago

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

PHOENIX (AP) — Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote after the state’s highest court concluded the law can be enforced and the state House blocked efforts to undo the long-dormant statute. Although no vote was taken on the […]

7 days ago

Associated Press

Shouts of ‘Shame! Shame!’ erupt in Arizona House as fight over abortion ban engulfs lawmakers

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Legislature devolved into shouts of “Shame! Shame!” on Wednesday as Republican lawmakers quickly shut down discussion on a proposed repeal of the state’s newly revived 1864 law that criminalizes abortion throughout pregnancy unless a woman’s life is at risk. The state Supreme Court cleared the way on Tuesday for enforcement […]

14 days ago

Associated Press

What to know about abortion in Arizona under the near-total 1864 ban

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court gave the go-ahead Tuesday to prepare to enforce a long-dormant law that bans nearly all abortions, drastically altering the legal landscape for terminating pregnancies in a state likely to have a key role in the presidential election. The law predating Arizona’s statehood provides no exceptions for rape or […]

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Group challenges restrictions in Arizona election manual on ballot drop-off locations