WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a state trial court judge in Arizona rejected a Republican attempt to disband no-excuse mail-in voting across the state. Mid-May, the Arizona Republican Party and its chairwoman filed a lawsuit alleging that the state’s mail-in voting system, which was enacted in 1991 and allows any voter to cast a mail-in ballot, violates the Arizona Constitution. In support of this claim, the plaintiffs argued that the Arizona Constitution requires in-person voting on specific days and, because mail-in voting does not follow these rules, it is unconstitutional and should be banned in future elections. This was the Republicans’ second failed attempt to disband mail-in voting in Arizona after their first attempt was rejected by the Arizona Supreme Court.
After a hearing was held on Friday, the judge ruled today that the no-excuse mail-in voting system does not violate the Arizona Constitution. Because there “is nothing in the Arizona Constitution which expressly prohibits the legislature from authoring new voting laws, including ‘no-excuse’ mail-in ballots,” the judge found that the Legislature was allowed to enact mail-in voting. In denying the plaintiffs’ request to stop mail-in voting in future elections, the judge held that Arizona’s mail-in voting system is “not inapposite of the intentions of the framers of the Constitution who emphasized the right to suffrage for Arizona citizens and that the voters’ ballots be secret.”