‘Ballot harvesting’ ban to stay in place

Arizona Capitol Times

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services | Pinal Central

A federal judge won’t overturn a law that makes it a felony to bring someone else’s early ballot to a polling place.

In an extensive ruling, Judge Douglas Rayes said there’s scant evidence that the 2016 law will impose a hardship on the vast majority of people who vote. He said while a majority of Arizonans now vote with early ballots, the vast majority manage to get them turned in without the help of outsiders whose activities are now a crime.

Rayes acknowledged that the measure was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey on the claim that limiting who can handle someone’s ballot will prevent voter fraud. And, in fact, the judge said there has “never been a case of voter fraud associated with ballot collection charged in Arizona.’’

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