Democrats challenge Arizona mail-in ballot rule

Democrats challenge Arizona mail-in ballot rule
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Democrats are challenging an Arizona mail-in ballot rule that would disqualify ballots that do not include signatures instead of giving voters time to correct them.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Arizona Democratic Party and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Arizona secretary of state and other county officials disputing the rule. 

The Democrats said the rule could lead to “thousands” of ballots not being counted in a state that’s considered a battleground in the November election. 

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"Voters who are in fact registered to vote, and who did in fact timely submit their mail ballots, will have their votes disregarded without due process," the lawsuit reads. 

"This will result in disenfranchisement. In recent general elections, a significant number of mail ballots have been rejected in Arizona for missing signatures,” the suit adds. 

It asks the state’s secretary of state to give voters five business days after the federal elections to fix ballots without signatures. 

“Arizona’s flawed mail-in ballot signatures rule has led to ballots being tossed aside and uncounted - and that’s unacceptable,” DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE said in a statement obtained by The Hill. 

A spokeswoman for the Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) told Reuters that she couldn’t comment on ongoing litigation. 

DSCC Executive Director Scott Fairchild added in a statement that, "All voters should be granted the same opportunities to address an issue with their ballot and have confidence their vote will be counted." 

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Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Felecia Rotellini said in a statement said the state party "will never stop working to ensure that the right to vote is protected.”

Tight presidential, Senate, House and state legislative races are expected in Arizona. 

Democrats have been pushing to expand mail-in and absentee voting to expand voter participation and turnout, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

But President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE and other Republicans have argued that mail-in voting could lead to increased voter fraud and in an April tweet said it "doesn't work out well for Republicans." 

The U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona has scheduled a phone conference for the case on June 23, Fox News reported.