U.S. Supreme Court Rules For States’ Election Integrity Efforts

EIPCa and EIPAz’s Friend of the Court Brief influential in Court’s decision

Election Integrity Project- California Press Release

Santa Clarita, Calif. – On Tuesday, July 6, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state of Arizona’s right to protect the integrity of its voting process.  The Democratic National Committee had challenged Arizona’s policy that prohibited ballot harvesting and Arizona’s requirement that in-person voters cast their vote at their designated precinct. The Supreme Court concluded that these measures are important in ensuring a fair and accurate election and that Arizona did not violate the Voting Rights Act by enforcing them.

Non-partisan Election Integrity Project California (EIPCa) and Election Integrity Project Arizona (EIPAz), together with attorney Mike O’Neil of Landmark Legal Foundation filed an influential friend of the court brief informing the Court of the dangers of ballot harvesting.

EIPCa’s extensive work documenting the many failures of the California electoral system allowed it to provide a unique perspective of what occurs without important protections, such as the chain-of-custody of vote-by-mail ballots, as well as oversight by diligent election officials.

Last year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled thatprohibiting ballot harvesting and requiring in-person voters to cast their vote at their designated precinct violated the Voting Rights Act in that they disproportionately affected minority voters and were enacted with discriminatory intent.

Thursday, the Supreme Court disagreed and overruled the 9th Circuit. Their decision ruled that federal law does not deprive states like Arizona of their authority to establish non-discriminatory voting rules to protect the sanctity of the vote nor did the Arizona legislature act with discriminatory intent when it enacted the policies.

Justice Alito, writing for the majority, noted that states have a legitimate interest in preventing voter fraud and that these policies work to prevent such fraud. “Fraud can affect the outcome of a close election, and fraudulent votes dilute the right of citizens to cast ballots that carry appropriate weight,” the Court continued. “Fraud can also undermine public confidence in the fairness of elections and the perceived legitimacy of the announced outcome.”

Equally important, the Court found that “[e]nsuring that every vote is cast freely, without intimidation or undue influence, is [a] valid and important state interest.”

“We are heartened the Supreme Court has concluded that states have a right to enact commonsense laws that protect the integrity of the election process, thereby restoring the public’s faith in election outcomes,” said Linda Paine, EIPCa President. “Ballot harvesting removes the chain of custody protection allowing harvesters to seek out ballots that will be favorable to one side or another,” Linda went on to say. “It is EIPCa’s major objective that California follow Arizona’s lead and begin to take steps to correct the many electoral vulnerabilities that have plagued our great state for years.”

Election Integrity Project®California (EIPCa) and 13 Congressional Candidates filed a lawsuit California challenging the unconstitutional laws, policies & procedures, emergency regulations that destroy integrity in the election process.

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