State of Arizona

Arizona Drop Boxes Challenge

Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Fontes

Lawsuit filed by a right-wing legal group on behalf of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club and a voter against Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) challenging the use of drop boxes in Arizona. Specifically, the plaintiffs argue that the 2023 Election Procedures Manual (EPM), which has not yet been approved by the governor, allows for the use of drop boxes in violation of state law. The EPM authorizes county election officials to implement drop-boxes for voters to return their early ballots. These drop boxes must be approved by the county and follow the security protocol outlined by the EPM. 

The plaintiffs contend that Arizona only provides four ways to return an early ballot: delivered or mailed to the county recorder or dropped off by the voter or for the voter (by a family member, household member or caregiver) at a polling place. 

The lawsuit alleges that because using drop boxes to drop off mail-in ballots has not been authorized by the Arizona Legislature, it is an illegal method of voting under Arizona law. In addition, the plaintiffs argue that drop boxes “lack crucial protections afforded to USPS mail collection boxes.” The plaintiffs request that the provisions of the EPM that allow for drop boxes be invalidated. The right-wing group also requests that the court block the enforcement and implementation of any provision of the EPM that authorizes the use of drop boxes in the state. 

On Oct. 27, a judge denied the plaintiff’s request to temporarily block the use of drop boxes.

RESULT: On April 25, 2024, a judge granted Secretary Fontes’ and Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Voto Latino’s motions for summary judgment. Drop boxes remain legal in Arizona.

Case Documents

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