Democrats are taking their fight to block a controversial voting law to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, after a federal judge Friday denied their request for an injunction. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Rayes rejected a request from state and national Democrats to suspend Arizona’s law that bans ballot collection. He found the Democrats did not demonstrate that the new law would hurt minority voters more so than others, and said it would have a minimal effect, if any, on broader voting rights. That means that in the Nov. 8 election, as it was in the Aug. 30 primary, people who attempt to take another person’s mail-in ballot to elections officials will be subject to penalties.
Maricopa County elections officials have said, however, that lacking guidance on how to enforce the new law, they will accept all ballots that are returned to the polls, as other provisions of state law require. There were no complaints of ballot collection, or “ballot harvesting” as critics call it, during the Aug. 30 primary.
But Democrats said the law was written to discourage voters, by barring basically anyone other than a household member from returning a ballot to the polls. They said they are appealing the order.
“Unlike the state’s Republican leadership, the Arizona Democratic Party does not believe that it should be a crime for one neighbor to help another neighbor vote,” executive director Sheila Healy said in a statement.
Full Article: Judge rejects hold on Arizona ‘ballot harvesting’ law.