Election Reform

Maine’s Attorney General and Secretary of State join coalition defending key provision of the Voting Rights Act before Supreme Court

Summary

From Maine.gov: Attorney General Aaron M. Frey and Secretary of State Shenna Bellows have joined amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to uphold a robust test for applying Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA)-which prohibits policies and practices […]

From Maine.gov:

Attorney General Aaron M. Frey and Secretary of State Shenna Bellows have joined amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to uphold a robust test for applying Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA)-which prohibits policies and practices that deny or abridge citizens’ right to vote based on their race.

Arizona has two laws that have been challenged because of discriminatory results: an out-of-precinct policy, under which provisional ballots cast in person are not counted if the voter, even inadvertently, cast the ballot outside their designated precinct; and a ballot-collection statute that prohibits so-called ballot harvesting and only allows certain individuals, such as family members, to collect and submit another persons completed early ballot. The Ninth Circuit concluded that both laws produced a disparate impact on voters of color, creating unequal opportunities for political participation, and thus both violated the VRA. The Arizona Attorney General and the Arizona Republican Party are challenging the Ninth Circuits ruling in the Supreme Court, joined by Republican state attorneys general. They argue that the current test would strike down all laws that impose even small differential effects on voters of different races.