Judge shoots down Republican lawsuit, upholds early voting in Arizona

Judge shoots down Republican lawsuit, upholds early voting in Arizona

All over the United States, Republicans have been trying to make voting more difficult — and that includes a lawsuit from the Arizona Republican Party calling for an end to early voting in that state. But that lawsuit has run into a brick wall thanks to a judge in Arizona’s Mojave County.

On Monday, June 6, Judge Lee Jantzen issued a four-page ruling rejecting the lawsuit. Jantzen, according to the Arizona Republic, wrote, “Is the Arizona Legislature prohibited by the Arizona Constitution from enacting voting laws that include no-excuse mail-in voting? The answer is no.”

The Arizona Republic’s Mary Jo Pitzl reports, “Jantzen denied the Republican Party's case as well as its request for a preliminary injunction that would have blocked almost all early voting for the November 8 general election. That would have required millions of Arizona voters to obtain their ballot at the polls and cast it there.”

Pitzl notes that the Arizona GOP’s lawsuit “did not seek any change for the upcoming August 2 primary election” and that “ballots were already printed for that election, and early voting begins July 6.”

On August 2, Republican and Democratic primaries will be held in Arizona for everything from a gubernatorial race to a U.S. Senate race to U.S. House races.

Arizona, for many years, was a deep red state and a bastion of Goldwater conservatism. Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, the GOP’s 1964 presidential nominee, was a fixture in the U.S. Senate for decades, and after Goldwater decided not to seek reelection in 1986, his seat was won by John McCain — a self-described Goldwater conservative.

But now, Arizona is a swing state — and the U.S. Senate seat once held by Goldwater and later, McCain, is held by a centrist Democrat: Sen. Mark Kelly, who is seeking reelection in the 2022 midterms. Arizona’s other U.S. senator is also a centrist Democrat: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who has been a frequent source of frustration to the progressive wing of her party but is on very friendly terms with members of the McCain family — including John McCain’s widow Cindy McCain and his daughter Meghan McCain, a former co-host and conservative pundit on ABC’s “The View.”

Arizona’s two-term governor, conservative Republican Doug Ducey, is term-limited. On the Republican side, the gubernatorial candidates range from former Rep. Matt Salmon to former news anchor Kari Lake — a far-right MAGA extremist, anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist along the lines of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado. The authoritarian Lake, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has been promoting the Big Lie and falsely claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump in Arizona.

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