Court rules Arizona Republicans discriminated against minority voters

  • 01/29/2020 3:06 pm ET Brian Frazer

Unsplash/Elliott Stallion

In a major victory for Democrats, Arizona Republicans’ ban on mail-in ballots has been ruled illegal and unconstitutional. A federal court called the ban intentionally discriminatory toward people of color.

Why the law presented an issue
Hispanics and Native Americans make up nearly 37% of Arizona’s population. Four years ago, Arizona Republicans made it a felony for third-party groups to collect mail-in ballots during elections – a process called “ballot harvesting.”

However, Native Americans rely on third-party ballot collection because just 18% of registered voters have mail service at home and polling stations can be far from reservations.

The problem with voter ID laws
Republicans continue to claim that these laws – including the Arizona ballot harvesting ban — were created to avoid voter fraud. However, in 2016, with over 136 million votes cast nationally, the Washington Post found just four documented cases of voter fraud.

Key quotes
“The adverse impact on minority communities is substantial.”

“No one has ever found a case of voter fraud connected to third-party ballot collection in Arizona. This has not been for want of trying.”

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