Supreme Court upholds Arizona voting rules, including ballot harvesting ban

The U.S. Supreme Court on July 1 upheld two Republican-supported Arizona voting laws the legislators say are intended to ensure election integrity.

The decision, delivered by a 6-3 court split on ideological lines, found that neither law violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and that they were not enacted with racially discriminatory intent. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the court’s majority opinion. Justice Elena Kagan led the leftists on the court in dissent.

People with identification are not scarce

The Arizona Republican Party and the Democratic National Committee have been feuding over the laws since before the 2016 presidential election. The case received renewed attention in the aftermath of the 2020 election after many Americans said that coronavirus-era voting provisions, some later found to have been enacted illegally, had unfairly tilted the election to the Democrats.

The laws, approved long before the 2020 election, require that a ballot be thrown out if it was cast in a precinct other than the one matching the voter’s home address. The laws also ban “ballot harvesting,” in which third-party carriers such as unions and activist groups collect absentee ballots and deliver them for counting. Passed in 2016, Arizona H.B. 2023, makes it a felony for anyone other than a family member, caregiver or postal worker to collect and deliver ballots.

The second Arizona law in question requires ballots to be cast in the assigned precinct where a voter lives. If a voter casts a provisional ballot at the wrong polling place, election officials will reject it.

According to the Washington Examiner, “Democrats claimed that the laws are racist because they could disproportionately affect black, Latino, and Native American populations. The DNC, in its brief, called Arizona’s out-of-precinct policy one of the ‘most punishing in the nation’ and accused it of effectively disenfranchising more than 38,000 voters since 2008. It also alleged that the ballot harvesting ban took voting rights away from minorities who rely on third-party carriers to vote.”

In a 2005 bipartisan report, former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and former Secretary of State James Baker, a Republican, recommended prohibiting ballot collection. Critics of ballot harvesting can also point to a race in Patterson, New Jersey last year in which candidates were indicted on fraud charges after they mishandled collected ballots.  They were indicted on charges of election fraud, fraud in casting mail-in votes, unauthorized possession of ballots, tampering with public records and falsifying records. Patterson City Councilman Alex Mendez also was indicted for alleged false voter registration.

The Supreme Court’s decision overturns the San Francisco-based U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which found that Arizona’s regulations had a disproportionate impact on Native American, Latino and Black voters and that it was enacted in a broader context of voter discrimination.

Posted July 1, 2021

Arizona Senate Threatens Subpoenas: Az. GOP Chairman Kelli Ward Offers Update on Maricopa County Election Audit

Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward provides an update on the Maricopa County audit, including the legal battles, in the video below.  Chairwoman Ward outlines how the county board of supervisors has been discovered to have withheld material evidence from the audit despite a court order demanding compliance.

Officials in Maricopa County are refusing to comply with subpoenas from the state Senate that require them to turn over routers or router images to auditors reviewing the November 2020 election. There are certain to be more legal battles ahead as the auditors demand access to all the equipment, including the passwords the county is withholding. Stay tuned.

Posted May 10, 2021

Georgia Recount Reveals 2,600 Uncounted Ballots In Pro-Trump County

A recount of ballots in Georgia’s presidential race revealed more than 2,600 ballots in Floyd County that were never entered into the final tally, The Daily Wire reports.

Floyd County Republican Party Chairman Luke Martin says the ballots, once counted, will likely give President Trump a roughly 800-vote bite into Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s roughly 14,000-vote lead, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Trump is currently leading Biden in Floyd County by a nearly 43% margin of difference.

The recovered votes may also help out GOP Sen. David Perdue, who is roughly 14,000 votes away from securing 50% of the vote in his bid for reelection and avoiding a runoff against Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office said the votes were missed because election workers failed to upload a memory card containing the votes into a ballot counting machine. The Floyd County discrepancy does not appear to be a widespread issue, the office of the secretary of state said.

Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system manager called it “an amazing blunder” and said the county’s elections director should resign.

“It’s not an equipment issue. It’s a person not executing their job properly,” Sterling told the Journal-Constitution. This is the kind of situation that requires a change at the top of their management side.”

Three Wrong Counts In Three Minutes’: Georgia Recount Auditor Says Things Aren’t Adding Up

A Republican National Committee monitor in the Georgia recount efforts came forward claiming he witnessed a counted wrongly calling out votes. According to the monitor, the counter called votes that should have gone to President Donald Trump and claimed they were for former Vice President Joe Biden, reports Townhall.com.

“So, second person was supposed to be checking it, right. So, three times in three minutes she called out Biden. The second auditor caught it and she said, ‘No. This is Trump.’ Now, that’s just while I’m standing there,” Hale Soucie, the monitor explained. “So, does the second checker catch it every time? But this lady, three times in three minutes, from 2:09 to 2:12, she got three wrong.”

Soucie said he left the original table he was where they were recounting ballots for Cobb County. He claimed he left the table because the second person wasn’t looking at the vote, but was automatically assuming that the first counter was correct.

According to the insider, table 17, where they were counting votes for Cobb County, was where the woman called the wrong votes. Table 18, which was also counting votes for Cobb County, is where Soucie said he witnessed the second person not looking at the ballots.