This reasonable law §16-1005 maintaining the integrity of voter’s ballots was passed by the Arizona legislature in 2016 and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey. The law, protecting against voter fraud, makes the practice of knowingly collecting voted or unvoted ballots from another person a Class 6 Felony.
Specific exemptions are written into the law, allowing family members, a person residing in the same household as the voter, caregivers, postal workers or elections officials to collect early ballots from a voter.
Calling voting “a key pillar of our democracy,” the governor noted this law will ensure a chain of custody between the voter and the ballot box. “We join 18 other states in this common sense approach to maintaining the integrity of our elections.” SRAZ has written about ballot harvesting previously, beginning in 2012.
Arizona’s law ensuring election integrity has now been reversed by the far-left, overly large and frequently overturned Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the flimsiest and most insulting of reasons: That it negatively and disproportionately impacted minority or impoverished voters.
“Arizona’s policy of wholly discarding, rather than counting or partially counting, out-of-precinct ballots, and criminalization of the collection of another person’s ballot, have a discriminatory impact on American Indian, Hispanic, and African American voters in Arizona,” Judge William Fletcher, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote.
The decision was reported in the Arizona Republic, which makes no attempt to impartially deliver the news, using these inflammatory words: “Republicans who control the legislature enacted the policy with the intent of suppressing turnout from voters of minority groups.”
The state will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a defendant in the lawsuit along with the Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
“It’s surprising the Ninth Circuit took the unusual step of overruling its own decision from 2018,” Brnovich said. “I have a duty to defend the law. Our office will appeal to the Supreme Court and continue to protect the integrity of our elections.”
The court’s ruling can be read here.
The judges on the en banc panel are:
Sidney R. Thomas, Chief Judge (appointed by Bill Clinton)
Diarmuid F.O’Scannlain (appointed by Ronald Reagan)
William A. Fletcher (appointed by Bill Clinton)
Marsha S. Berzon (appointed by Bill Clinton)
Johnnie B. Rawlinson (appointed by Bill Clinton)
Richard R. Clifton (appointed by George W. Bush)
Jay S. Bybee (appointed by George W. Bush)
Consuelo M. Callahan (appointed by George W. Bush)
Mary H. Murguia (appointed by Barack Obama)
Paul J. Watford (appointed by Barack Obama)
John B. Owens (appointed by Barack Obama)
Dissent by Judge O’Scannlain; Dissent by Judge Bybee