Arizona Supreme Court Dismisses Case Seeking to Eliminate Early Voting



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 5, 2022


Media Contact

Rich Robinson, Fair Elections Center, rrobinson@fairelectionscenter.org

Shannon Augustus, League of Women Voters, saugustus@lwv.org

 

PHOENIX — Today the Arizona Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by the Arizona Republican Party that threatened to end all early voting. The case requested that the Court invalidate all early in-person and mail-in voting, which the state has had in some form for more than a century. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case without a factual record.


Petitioners asserted various challenges under the Arizona Constitution to state election laws and requested that the Supreme Court hear the case in the first instance, skipping the lower courts. In March, the League of Women Voters of Arizona filed an amicus brief, arguing that this petition did not meet the extraordinary circumstances to justify the Court taking it at this juncture, and that it should be dismissed.


“As a state with a long history of ensuring that all Arizonans have equitable access to the ballot, we are gratified that the Court ruled to dismiss this case that would have had a harmful effect on over 80% of voters. Additionally, eliminating early voting and mail-in voting unjustly targets voters in underserved communities, the elderly, voters with disabilities, and those who live in rural communities or lack reliable transportation to the polls,” said Pinny Sheoran, president-elect of the League of Women Voters of Arizona.

“We are gratified that the Supreme Court of Arizona agreed that the petitioners here had inappropriately leapfrogged over two levels of Arizona’s state courts in an attempt to upend longstanding Arizona voting rules,” said Jon Sherman, litigation director and senior counsel at Fair Elections Center. “This litigation showed a lack of respect for both democracy and the rule of law; the Court was right to dismiss this action and enforce its procedural rules.”


The Arizona Republican Party requested that the Court invalidate all early in-person and mail-in voting, which the state has had in some form for more than a century. It also sought to strike down the use of absentee ballot drop boxes. Filed just three months before ballots for the August primary election will be mailed out, this special action petition sought a tectonic shift in the way Arizona conducts its elections.

The League of Women Voters of Arizona was represented by Fair Elections Center and the Law Firm of Mitchell Stein Carey Chapman.

The deadline for early voting for the Arizona primary begins July 6, 2022.

Read the opinion here.

# # #


The League of Women Voters of Arizona is a nonpartisan political organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government.


Fair Elections Center is a national nonpartisan voting rights and election reform 501c3 organization based in Washington DC whose mission is to use litigation and advocacy to remove barriers to registration and voting, particularly those disenfranchising underrepresented and marginalized communities, and to improve election administration.