Federal appellate judges on Wednesday questioned assertions by attorneys for the state and its Republican Party allies that a new law outlawing “ballot harvesting” does not target minorities. Assistant Attorney General Karen Hartman-Tellez argued that the law, approved earlier this year, is a legitimate — and legal — effort by the Republican-controlled legislature to ensure the integrity of elections. She conceded that making it a felony to collect the ballots of others might result in some inconvenience. But Hartman-Tellez said there was no proof that minorities would be harder hit.
Judge Sidney Thomas said that ignores evidence that 14,000 people living on the 2.8 million acre Tohono O’odham reservation have no postal service. “That’s a significant barrier that’s different from the barrier that white citizens would have in Phoenix,” he said.
“There’s no comparative white group,” Thomas continued. “There’s no white reservation.”
The judge also noted a similar situation in the largely Hispanic border community of San Luis.