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Court rules Arizona GOP's ballot law discriminates against minorities

Court rules Arizona GOP's ballot law discriminates against minorities

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that an Arizona law barring poll workers from delivering votes cast in the wrong precinct to the correct voting location is unconstitutional.

Voting along ideological lines, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals's liberal justices wrote that the law, passed four years ago by state Republicans, unfairly discriminated against minority residents in the state who disproportionately vote outside their designated precinct in higher levels than do white voters, according to the Los Angeles Times.

State law previously required ballots cast in the wrong precinct to be thrown away, forbidding third parties from delivering them.

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“For over a century, Arizona has repeatedly targeted its American Indian, Hispanic, and African American citizens, limiting or eliminating their ability to vote and to participate in the political process,” wrote Judge William A. Fletcher, according to the Times.

The justices pointed in their majority opinion to "uncontested evidence" that showed that minority voters tend to vote outside of their designated precinct in higher numbers in many cases due to reasons such as longer employment hours and lack of viable transportation.

In a minority opinion, the court's conservative justices wrote that no evidence of voter fraud was legally required for state Republicans to pass voter fraud measures.

“Because no evidence of actual voter fraud is required to justify an anti-fraud prophylactic measure, the majority’s reasoning quickly collapses,” one justice wrote.