Trump Campaign Loses Another Legal Battle Over Voter Registration

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The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the presidential election voter registration. Two voter organizations filed a lawsuit urging the court to extend Arizona’s voter’ registration deadline. They wanted the judge to bump the date from Monday evening until 5 p.m. October 23. The parties sat waiting for the judge’s opinion as the minutes before the deadline ticked down.

Governor Doug Ducey’s restrictions on travel and gathering hindered some Arizona voter registration groups from registering people. The advocacy groups challenged the state’s October 5 deadline, according to The Court Listener.

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Source: The Court Listener.

In his “last-minute decision” Federal Judge Steven Logan came through. He pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic as an unexpected detriment to face-to-face voter registration. While Arizona residents could register online, many people in the state simply had no internet access.

Judge Logan wrote, according to The Arizona Central:

‘Registering to vote has never been easier for some, though others are not so fortunate. Ballot access is an extremely important right, and it has been restricted during this unprecedented time.’

Mi Familia Vota and Arizona Coalition for Change argued that public health measures the governor put in place during the pandemic hindered their ability to register voters ahead of the election.

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Source: The Court Listener.

Both groups primarily registered voters face-to-face by going from door to door. They also went to places such as schools and community centers.

State Director for Mi Familia Vota Eduardo Sainz said:

‘High-propensity voters are ready to go. We need to ensure we can continue to expand access to democracy for all voters.’

The Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office cautioned:

‘[Moving voter registration deadlines now] would add additional (as of yet undetermined) steps in a delicate framework that has been refined to accurately process millions of votes in a safe, secure, and efficient manner.’

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Source: The Court Listener.

An attorney for the secretary said during the hearing:

‘We would have to discuss things with the counties, we would have to promulgate entirely new procedures.’

Then, an attorney representing the Republican National Committee (RNC) Kory Langhofer argued that the state’s public health measures never stopped those registering voting. Those activities included “political activities from protests to political rallies:”

‘It was never illegal under the governor’s order to participate in First Amendment activities.’

But proponents of moving the voter registration deadline back argued these are unprecedented times. They noted that the courts had extended like deadlines in the face of extraordinary challenges.

The attorney for one advocacy groups that filed the lawsuit Zoe Salzman said:

‘It’s not the first time the court has had to extend a deadline due to an unprecedented natural disaster.’

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Source: The Court Listener.

She argued that a number of states have deadlines later on the calendar. Arizona and 14 other states have the legislation deadline 28 to 30 days prior to the election. Nineteen allow for voter registration on Election Day. Her statement read:

‘Providing clarity is more important than pursuing this litigation. I urge anyone who still needs to register to vote to do so as soon as possible. Do not wait.’

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Source: The Court Listener.

To read the entire court’s findings, follow this link to The Court Listener.

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Source: The Court Listener.

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