Ballot Harvesting - Brnovich v DNC

Election Integrity Banner with a white man casting a paper ballot in a brown box. Words "Brnovich V. DNC" on the left side.

 

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently upheld Arizona’s election integrity laws concerning ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting.

In 2016, Arizona passed HB 2023 to restrict ballot harvesting in Arizona unless the person collecting the ballot is a family member, a person living in the same household, or a caregiver. Since the 1970s, Arizona has required people to vote at their specific precinct.

General Brnovich intervened on behalf of Arizona after the Secretary of State refused to defend the measures.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) asked SCOTUS to bring clarity to these matters after a misguided ruling by the Ninth Circuit struck the measures down.

The High Court heard oral arguments on March 2, 2021, and ruled in favor of Attorney General Brnovich on July 1, 2021.

 


AGO Briefs

November 30, 2020 Brief of State Petitioners

November 30, 2020 Joint Appendix

April 27, 2020 Cert Petition to SCOTUS

April 27, 2020 Appendix

Amicus Briefs

Case History

In 2016, the Democratic National Committee challenged Arizona’s laws restricting ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting. A federal district court judge ruled in Arizona's favor and upheld the laws. The case was then appealed to a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court, and that panel also upheld Arizona's laws. The DNC then appealed the case to a larger group of Ninth Circuit Court judges, who struck down the laws, a mere four days before the 2016 General Election. AG Brnovich immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and the very next day, the High Court overruled the Ninth Circuit, reinstating Arizona’s ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct laws, pending a full hearing of the merits in the lower court.

Late in 2018, a federal district court judge once again upheld Arizona’s laws after a 10-day trial. DNC attorneys appealed the case to a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit, who again upheld Arizona's laws. DNC again appealed the case to a larger group of Ninth Circuit judges, and the court reversed itself in early 2020 and struck down the laws just as ballots for the Democratic Presidential Preference Election were beginning to be mailed out. AG Brnovich immediately filed for a stay of the decision, and the Ninth Circuit granted the request, leaving Arizona's restrictions on ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting presently intact.
 
In late April of this year, General Brnovich asked SCOTUS to rule on Arizona’s laws being challenged.

Press Releases