Supreme Court Supports State Lawmakers in Silencing Voters
PHOENIX — Alex Gulotta, Arizona state director and acting national director of All Voting is Local, released the following statement after today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee:
“The decision in Brnovich v. DNC is an affront to our democracy and to voters. The Court had an opportunity to protect our freedom to vote at a critical moment in our history, but instead allowed Arizona lawmakers to put up barriers to silence voters’ voices based on what they look like or where they live.
“Because of this irresponsible decision, compounded by the onslaught of anti-voter policies being passed by state lawmakers, voters in Arizona — especially Latino, Native American, and Black voters — will continue to face more barriers than White voters to making their voices heard. Congress must do what the Court did not. It is more urgent than ever for Congress to buttress voting rights against these continued attacks, starting with restoring the full power of the Voting Rights Act and passing the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act so that our democracy truly represents the will of all voters.”
In 2016, a group of Arizona voters and the Democratic Party filed suit to challenge two Arizona policies as discriminatory. Earlier that year, the Arizona Legislature limited who could provide ballot-collection assistance to mail voters. Arizona also had a policy of entirely rejecting ballots cast in the wrong precinct — including votes for president or statewide office. Both policies limited access for voters of color. The suit aimed to ensure all Arizona voters have an equal opportunity to participate in our democracy and affirm that racial discrimination has no place in our elections. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cited abundant evidence that the Arizona policies make it harder for voters of color to cast their ballots and violate the Voting Rights Act. Today, the Court substantially undermined Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and upheld two Arizona voting provisions it admitted had discriminatory results: a ballot collection ban and a policy that throws out an entire ballot if it was cast in the wrong precinct.