Battle Over Ballot Harvesting Continues in Arizona

By Al Macias
Published: Monday, October 31, 2016 - 7:47am
Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 10:59am

With a little more than a week to go until Election Day, the battle over ballot harvesting continues. 

On Friday, a three judge federal panel upheld a new Arizona law barring groups from collecting early ballots from voters. Then on Saturday a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals requested a vote from the other judges on the Appellate court on whether or not to hold a full court hearing on the law.

The new law signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey earlier this year means people who collect mail-in ballots, in most cases, face a felony charge.

Both Republican and Democratic parties have used ballot collection to boost turnout during elections by going door-to-door and asking voters if they have completed their mail-in ballot. If they have not, they urge them to do so and offer to return it to elections offices.

Democratic groups argue that the law barring the ballot gathering disproportionately affects minority voters.

Ducey called it a common-sense law to protect election integrity.

Saturday’s court action gives the parties involved in the lawsuit until 5pm Monday to file supplemental legal briefs. It’s still not known though if the entire 11 member 9th Circuit court will hold another hearing on the law before Election Day.