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Federal appeals court rejects Arizona ballot collection law
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Federal appeals court rejects Arizona ballot collection law

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday that Arizona’s out-of-precinct (OOP) policy and House Bill 2023 violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Fifteenth Amendment.

Arizona’s policy is to completely discard OOP ballots, rather than counting or partially counting those ballots. HB 2023 criminalizes the collection of another person’s early ballot.

The district court had upheld both the Arizona OOP policy and HB 2023 in 2018, but the court of appeals reversed the lower court’s decision.

The court held that Arizona’s OOP policy and HB 2023 had a discriminatory impact on American Indian, Hispanic and African American voters in Arizona. Because the OOP policy and HB 2023 had the effect of abridging the right of Arizona citizens to vote on account of race or color, they violated of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. It also held that HB 2023 was enacted with the intent to discriminate against racial minorities and is thus in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment.