Is Not Counting Ballots Cast In Wrong Precinct Racial Discrimination? Federal Judges Hear Oral Arugments

Published: Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 8:16am

A panel of federal judges will soon be deciding whether not counting a ballot cast in the wrong precinct is illegal discrimination. They heard oral arguments Wednesday.

Under Arizona law, a ballot cast in the wrong precinct is not counted.

Attorney Elisabeth Frost with the Arizona Democratic Party told the judges there is statistical data showing that minorities are more likely to show up at the wrong polling place. She said that’s partly because they are more likely to rent property and move more often, which means they’re less likely to know where their polling place is.

"If you're Hispanic, you are twice as likely to be disenfranchised this way. If you're a Native American, I think the numbers are higher," said Frost. "If you're African American your odds are much more likely to be disenfranchised this way."

But attorneys with the Republican Party argued both political parties spend a lot of time and money on marketing efforts to ensure people know where to vote.

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