Ninth Circuit Grants Stay In Arizona’s Balloting Harvesting Case

‘Ballot harvesting’ ban to remain in effect for March election

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PHOENIX – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a stay the Court’s mandate in the balloting harvest case, DNC v. Hobbs. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich requested the stay while his office seeks Supreme Court review.

The Ninth Circuit’s order ensures Arizona’s ban on ballot harvesting and the law regarding out-of-precinct voting will remain in place until the U.S. Supreme Court has a chance to consider the case.

“Our job is to defend the law and we’re not going to let out-of-state special interests systematically dismantle our election integrity safeguards,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Arizonans should determine what common sense voter fraud laws are appropriate for our state.”

Arizona Attorney General Motion For Stay

“It bears repeating that when this Court issued an injunction against A.R.S. § 16-1005(H), before the 2016 election, see Feldman v. Arizona Sec’y of State’s Office, 843 F.3d 366, 370 (9th Cir. Nov. 4, 2016), the Supreme Court stayed that injunction with remarkable speed: within 48 hours—over a weekend—without noted dissent.

“Since that time, the record has gotten far stronger for the State of Arizona. The State not only prevailed in a bench trial, but the well-publicized, absentee-vote scandal in North Carolina during the last national election cycle has proven that the risks of fraud that the Arizona Legislature was concerned about are not imagined, but real. The Act is thus on far stronger footing than in 2016. But, contrary to the Supreme Court’s unanimous, expeditious stay, and the findings of the district court to the contrary, this Court again holds that the Act violates the Voting Rights Act.

Before the 2016 election, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the Ninth Circuit’s election-eve injunction against the enforcement of Arizona’s prohibition of ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting following a lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Arizona Democratic Party. The State then prevailed at trial.

Arizona’s brief explained that the Ninth Circuit was wrong when it imposed an election-eve injunction against the enforcement of Arizona’s prohibition of ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting following a lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Arizona Democratic Party.

The Attorney General’s brief cited the recent “ballot harvesting scandal in North Carolina during the last election cycle that ultimately led to an election being thrown out as proof that the Arizona Legislature’s concerns for potential voter fraud are not unfounded.”

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