Arizona large among hundreds of election litigants

USA TODAY has published a summary of election-related lawsuits. Here’s what the national newspaper reported about Arizona by Alan Gomez and Kevin McCoy 

Perhaps no other state has seen more judicial rulings limiting voting rights than Arizona, a Republican-leaning statethat has emerged as a possible win for Biden this year. 

In one case, two advocacy groups persuaded a federal judge to extend the state’s Oct. 3 voter registration deadline by nearly three weeks because of COVID-19 delays. But the 9th CircuitCourt of Appeals struck down that ruling, ordering that voter registrations be shut down on Oct. 15. More than 7,000 voters registered during the extension period. 

The appeals court struck down another ruling that would have allowed voters who accidentally mailed their absentee ballots without signing them an opportunity to fix the error up to five days after Election Day. The deadline is now Election Day.  

One judge ruled that members of the Navajo Nation do not face unfair barriers to voting and struck down their request to extend the deadline to submit their absentee ballots. And another judge denied a request to waive the state’s requirement that a witness be present when signing ballot initiatives, despite claims that the requirement puts medically compromised Arizonans at risk of exposing themselves to the coronavirus. 

A Democratic Party canvasser holds up campaign material while knocking on doors in the suburbs of Phoenix on Oct. 15, 2020, to encourage people to vote in the presidential and congressional elections. 

One of the rare legal victories for voting rights advocates came in Maricopa County, where Superior Court Judge Randall Warner allowed vulnerable voters to fill out their ballots by placing a video call to a county election official who fills out their ballot. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey objected to that practice, but Warner ruled that it was legal and necessary to protect disabled people and those in hospitals or nursing homes. 

“Federal law does not allow Arizona to impose on a disabled voter the choice between voting and protecting their health,” Warner wrote. 

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