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Mon Jan 27, 2020, 09:15 PM

Arizona Republicans discriminated against minority voters, court rules

Source: The Guardian

Arizona Republicans discriminated against minority voters, court rules

Ruling says Republican effort to restrict third-party ballot collection appeared to be part of effort to suppress black, Hispanic and Native American votes

Sam Levine
Mon 27 Jan 2020 20.35 GMT
Last modified on Mon 27 Jan 2020 22.13 GMT

A federal court has ruled Arizona Republicans’ ban on mail-in ballots is illegal and unconstitutional, calling it intentionally discriminatory toward people of color, who already face increased barriers to voting.

The ruling is a major victory for the Democratic party, which filed the suit, and will likely make it easier for minorities to get their ballots counted in the largely red state.

Four years ago, Arizona Republicans made it a felony, punishable by prison time, for third-party groups to collect mail-in ballots during elections – a process often called “ballot harvesting.”

Marginalized communities in the state may rely more on ballot harvesting, the court noted. Native Americans, for example, benefit significantly from third-party ballot collection efforts because just 18% of registered voters have mail service at home, and reservations can be far from polling stations. Some minority communities also have widespread distrust in the mailing system: in San Luis, a city that is 98% Hispanic, a major highway separates 13,000 residents from the nearest post office.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/27/arizona-republicans-intentionally-discriminated-against-minority-voters-court-rules

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