With Arizona primary election weeks away, important legal challenges persist

Early voting list change would take effect in 2027.

By Mary Jo Pitzl |Arizona Republic

Lawsuits that could result in last-minute changes to how Arizona elections are conducted await rulings as the voting season nears.

One challenge was partially resolved in a ruling last week, when a federal judge rejected a challenge to a new law that shortens the time voters have to verify their signature on mail-in ballots.  

RELATED: Judge rules voting rights groups may challenge  law eliminating permanent early voting list 

But three other prominent cases, including a challenge that the vote by mail system is unconstitutional, are still in the courts with no resolution, even as early ballots have been mailed to overseas voters and as the Aug. 2 primary nears.

In a case brought by four minority-led nonprofits, U.S. District Court Judge Dominic Lanza rejected arguments that a state law that sets an election night deadline for verifying signatures on early ballots violates voting rights, particularly for minorities. His decision lets stand the law, passed last year as Senate Bill 1003.

But Lanza will continue to hear arguments over the second part of the groups’ lawsuit: that a law that eliminates the state’s Permanent Early Voting List was enacted to discriminate against certain groups.

Lanza’s findings are the latest in a number of election-related lawsuits in local and federal courts that could change the way this year’s elections are conducted. Those cases include:

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