Supreme Court Blocks Republican Challenge to Election Laws

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The state Supreme Court Friday rejected arguments made by Republicans to try and strike down the ability for voters to receive early ballots and vote from their own homes, either sending in the ballots by mail or by dropping them off at an official location.

Now, with the state Supreme Court maintaining the earlier rulings against them, Republicans have virtually no more legal recourse to follow and will have to turn to legislation if they want to continue their battle against early ballots.

Supreme Court Sides with Appellate

The state Supreme Court Friday rejected the arguments made by State Representative Alexander Kolodin, siding with the early decision made by an appellate court. The court decided to not take the case any further, leaving intact the state Court of Appeals' ruling that the current provisions of state law adequately protect the privacy of voters.

Under the state constitution, voters are guaranteed a right to privacy when voting, as stated by Article 7, Section 1: "All elections by the people shall be by ballot, or by such other method as may be prescribed by law; Provided, that secrecy in voting shall be preserved."

Republicans had attempted to argue that early ballots, which could be filled out at home rather than the typical polling station with election workers present, do not adequately safeguard the privacy of voting and that voters could be coerced or intimidated into voting a certain way.

Republicans Face Uphill Battle to Change Early Voting

With this most recent rebuke, Republicans now face an uphill battle to change early voting in the state. They lack a basis to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and thus must try to change the process via legislation, something likely to be very difficult given the popularity of early ballot voting in the state.

According to the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, around 89% of ballots cast in 2020 were cast as early ballots and while that number could have been bolstered by the pandemic, the fact remains that early voting has been a staple in the state since the 1990s and has enjoyed widespread support, meaning any legislation looking to end the practice would likely be viewed very unfavorably.

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Political, Entertainment, and Local Interest stories for states throughout the West Coast, focused on the latest legislation, campaign news, and local stories. Based in Arizona and covering news from the Copper State, California, Colorado, and Utah.

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