PHOENIX – The Voter Protection Corps Foundation, All Voting is Local Arizona and 17 other Arizona and national organizations committed to protecting and expanding access to the ballot box today sent a letter to Arizona election officials calling for urgent action to prevent voter intimidation.

The letter, sent this morning to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Election Services Director Bo Dul, as well as county election officials statewide, raises concerns over groups blocking the entrances to early voting locations and harassing voters. Intimidating voters as they attempt to exercise their right to vote violates both federal and Arizona law. The letter also raises the possibility of poll observers inappropriately positioning themselves at ballot drop boxes, impersonating authorized voter challengers and making baseless challenges.

“Arizona has made great strides to expand access to the ballot box while protecting public health during the pandemic by starting their early voting process on October 7th,” said Scott Nathan, Arizona Voter Protection Director for the Voter Protection Corps Foundation. “However, we must learn from the experiences of other states, like Virginia, where a group took advantage of early voting to intimidate and harass voters. The Voter Protection Corps Foundation and our partners are grateful to Secretary Hobbs, Director Dul and county election officials for their commitment to ensuring that every eligible voter can vote and have that vote counted and we look forward to working with them to prevent voter intimidation of any kind.”

“Voters should feel confident and safe casting their ballots,” said Alex Gulotta, Arizona state director for All Voting is Local. “There isn’t time to sit by and hope that this is the case; officials can and must take action now to protect Arizona voters and ensure a fair election.”

The organizations have requested a meeting with election officials in each county to discuss their plans to avoid and prevent voter intimidation and harassment throughout the election process.

The letter was signed by the Voter Protection Corps, All Voting Is Local – Arizona, Election Protection Arizona, the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Arizona, Arizona Center For Empowerment, One Arizona, ASU Indian Legal Clinic, Instituto Lab, New American Leaders, Fuerte Arts Movement, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Black Phoenix Organizing Collective, Mi Familia Vota, Mountain Park Health Center, Arizona Dream Act Coalition, Voting Rights Lab, Our Voice Our Vote, Arizona Voter Empowerment Task Force, and the Arizona Advocacy Network.

An example of the letter can be found here.