Delivering “a blow to Democrats” including Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Saturday that Arizona can continue to enforce its ban on ballot harvesting, a favorite Democratic get-out-the-(fraudulent)-vote tactic.
Friday, a 6-5 ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals granted a preliminary injunction of the law; the Supreme Court’s order stays that decision. There were no noted dissents…
The law makes it a felony, punishable by a year in jail and $150,000 to knowingly collect “voted or unvoted early ballots” from another person. It provides for an exception for family members or caregivers.
A brief filed by the Arizona Republican Party and joined by the state attorney general argued that the challengers, including the Arizona Democratic Party, DNC, DSCC, and Hillary for America, could not identify “a single voter whose ability to vote was burdened by the law.”
Two wins Tuesday for election integrity in Arizona, and a loss for Democrats’ “loose approach to causation:”
First, U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes “rejected a bid by Democrats to force counties to tally the votes of people who show up at the wrong polling place.”
Second, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Rayes’ earlier ruling declining to block the state’s new law “making it a felony for individuals to collect early ballots from others and bring them to the polling place.”
The judge also said that even if there are various disparities among races in Arizona, that does not lead to the inescapable conclusion that voting laws are discriminatory.
“Taken to its logical conclusion, (the Democrats’) causation theory would allow a plaintiff to successfully challenge any aspect of a state’s election regime in which there is not perfect racial parity simply by noting that the costs of voting fall heavier on minorities due to their socioeconomic status,” Rayes wrote. “The court doubts that such a loose approach to causation is consistent with the text or purposes of the Voting Rights Act.”
“Tucson’s hybrid system of ward-only voting in primary elections and city-wide voting in general elections was struck down Tuesday by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals… Judge Alex Kozinski, writing the majority opinion, said the current system favors Democrats and violates the 14th Amendment’s one-man, one-vote provision.”
The judge also noted that Tucson’s mayor and council members are all Democrats.
Kansas and Arizona say yes. NRO has a detailed look at the case:
A major voting-law case that the Supreme Court looks likely to take next term, Kobach v. Election Assistance Commission, sets out a dispute between states and the federal government over whether Kansas can require inclusion of a proof-of-citizenship requirement on the National Mail Voter Registration Form. As the name suggests, this form is a single document that can be used nationwide to register to vote, with varying instructions for each state; the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is a federal agency whose responsibilities include creating and administering this form…
As Kobach states in petitions for Kansas and co-plaintiff Arizona, maintaining confidence in our voter-registration system — in this case, by removing ineligible voters from the voter rolls — is central to the National Voter Registration Act, the 1993 law that created the standard federal registration form. But it’s the law’s other provisions, on expanding ballot access, that seem to get all the attention, and the EAC barely mentioned the NVRA’s election-integrity goals in its 40-page decision denying Kobach’s request.
Kansas and Arizona have now filed their request for SCOTUS review:
Kobach argues Supreme Court guidance is needed because the case is of paramount national importance. “It’s a really profoundly important case,” Kobach said. “The founding fathers were emphatic that the states get to decide who is a qualified voter and who is not. It was a critical point in the Constitution that the federal government would have to follow the states on this matter.”
A bill to curtail ballot harvesting – and the potential voter fraud that comes with it – passed Arizona’s House Appropriations Committee. Senate Bill 1339 makes it a felony for anyone other than a family or household member, caregiver, or candidate to collect more than two early ballots from voters during a two-year election cycle.
File under ‘Every vote counts.’
The “razor-thin” .08 percent margin of victory also serves as a reminder of how easily the outcome of even a major federal election could have been subverted by just a smidgen of illegal voting.
An Arizona law requiring groups to register before spending money on election campaigns is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled, but stopped short of ordering the state not to enforce the law. Dina Galassini, of Fountain Hills, sued the town in 2011 after she was told she could not protest a local bond proposal until a political committee lodged a statement of organization.
“The First Amendment’s protection of free speech and association is hollow unless courts meaningfully engage with the real-world effects of these laws,” Institute for Justice attorney Diana Simpson in a statement. “Unfortunately, some courts are still failing their basic responsibility to defend the free speech rights of ordinary Americans.” The Institute for Justice, of Arington, Va. represented Galassini. Link