Arizona Appeals Court Upholds State’s Mail-In Voting System
PHOENIX — Arizona’s mail-in, early voting process does not violate voters’ constitutional right to privacy, the state Court of Appeals has ruled.
Tuesday’s ruling by a three-judge panel is a blow to the Arizona Republican Party and its chair, Kelli Ward, who had previously tried to block early voting ahead of the 2022 election.
Mail-in voting has been in place in Arizona since the early 1990s, and it has only grown in popularity over time, in recent years becoming the dominant form of voting in the state.
The Arizona GOP sued to end the practice last year and tried to get its case heard by the Arizona Supreme Court on an expedited basis.
After failing in its first bid to overcome the law, the party returned with a new argument — mail-in voting violates the secrecy clause in the state constitution, which requires that voters must have a way to conceal their choices on the ballot.
But the three-judge panel said the law provides ample protection for secrecy in that it requires voters to fill out their ballot in private and to seal the ballot in an envelope “that does not disclose the voters’ choices.”
The Arizona Republican Party has yet to decide whether to appeal the ruling to the Arizona Supreme Court.
In a joint statement, the Democratic National Committee, Arizona Democratic Party, and the congressional and senatorial campaign arms of the party said, “This ruling is a win for all Arizonans.
“The state has a long history of running a popular and secure vote-by-mail system, and we were proud to help defend against Republicans’ continued attempts to undermine it,” the statement continued.
“As Republicans try to rig the rulebook and disregard the will of voters, Democrats stand united, ready to take Republicans to court to protect every eligible voter’s rights and ensure their vote is counted,” it said.