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Supreme Court Rules AZ ‘Ballot Harvesting’ Ban Doesn’t Violate Voting Rights Act

Ryan Heinsius

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld two Arizona laws restricting voting in the state. Political observers see the ruling as a major blow against the landmark Voting Rights Act. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The court ruled Arizona’s ban on collecting early ballots, also known as ballot harvesting, doesn’t violate the 1965 federal law. Justices also let stand the state’s refusal to count ballots cast in the wrong precinct.

A federal appeals court previously shot down both provisions saying they disproportionately impact Black, Latino and Native American voters. But the conservative Supreme Court majority said concerns about election integrity justified Arizona’s laws.

Voting rights advocates say the ruling will make it harder to challenge discriminatory laws in court and urge Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who defended the state laws, says they protect the right to vote and election accuracy.

Several Republican-controlled legislatures have passed laws aimed at limiting early voting and tightening voter ID restrictions since the 2020 election.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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