WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Democrats filed a motion to intervene in an ongoing Republican lawsuit challenging Arizona’s mail-in voting system. In late February, the Arizona Republican Party and a Republican voter sued in the Arizona Supreme Court — an unusual attempt to bypass the state trial court and avoid any lengthy appeals process — over the state’s extremely popular no-excuse mail-in voting system that has been in place since 1991. The petition alleges that the Arizona Constitution does not allow for any system of early voting, including absentee or mail-in voting, because “[i]n-person voting at the polls on a fixed date (election day) is the only constitutional manner of voting in Arizona.” Because of this, the petitioners argue that Arizona’s early voting statutes should be struck down.
In their motion to intervene, the Arizona Democratic Party, Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ask to participate in the case in order to defend the state’s mail-in voting system. They point out that, in the 2020 general election, “more than 88 percent of ballots cast in Arizona were through early ballot procedures.” They argue that the Republicans’ efforts to “effectively eliminate the most popular voting procedures available to Arizona electors” would cause widespread confusion and potentially “disenfranchise countless lawful voters.” The potential intervenors also highlight the fact that Arizona’s election system relies on early and absentee voting to run smoothly, and upending this method of voting and permitting only in-person voting would similarly cause chaos for election administrators.