Judge Rejects Progressive Groups Request for Restraining Order to Shut Down Ballot Drop Box Observers

Voters concerned about ballot harvesting are organizing volunteer shifts observing ballot drop boxes, but some progressive organizations have filed lawsuits attempting to stop them. An organization called Protecting Democracy Project filed a lawsuit this week against the organizers as well as some of the volunteer observers on behalf of the League of Women Voters (LWV). The Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans (AARA) and Voto Latino (VL) also filed a lawsuit.

The LWV lawsuit names Lions of Liberty, which is organizing ballot drop box watching in Yavapai County, its affiliate Yavapai Preparedness Team, Clean Elections USA, which is organizing nationwide efforts, and several individuals and John Does. The AARA and VL lawsuit named similar defendants. The latter lawsuit included a photo of some “Doe Defendants,” revealing three people dressed in normal clothing sitting on lawn chairs. 

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As Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward Alleges Maricopa County Broke the Law in the 2022 Primary Election, Groups Launch Drop Box-Watching Operations

The Arizona Legislature was unable to get a bill passed this year clearly banning unmonitored absentee ballot drop boxes, so local activists are organizing schedules of volunteers to watch them, concerned after reports of unusual activity during the primary election this year. Existing law, A.R.S. 16-1005(E), prohibits absentee ballot drop boxes operated by entities other than the government, but legal disputes remain over how much the government is required to monitor them.

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