Ballot-Drop Watching vs Intimidation – Court Rules!

DOJ Issues Statement on Mail-Drop WATCHING Despite Judge's Ruling

Judge Rules On Ballot-Drop WATCHING

( – A new controversy is brewing over ballot drop-offs in Arizona. Partisan groups are arguing over whether it’s okay for armed “watchers” to stand near ballot drop-off boxes. Now, courts and the Justice Department are getting involved.

Last week, the Arizona Secretary of State claimed her office had received six complaints of potential voter intimidation around ballot drop-off boxes in the state, while the League of Women Voters has filed a lawsuit asking for an injunction against “armed vigilantes” near the boxes.

A photo taken in Mesa shows two masked men wearing ballistic plate carriers, at least one of which was loaded with ammunition pouches and a handgun, allegedly standing near a drop-off box. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) has asked voters to immediately report any intimidation tactics to police and his office.

On October 31, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened, issuing a “statement of interest” that said the “vigilante ballot security efforts,” especially when they involve filming of voters, are probably a violation of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Now, US District Court Judge Michael Liburdi, who ruled last Friday that it would be “unconstitutional” to ban the ballot watchers, has issued a temporary restraining order against Clean Elections USA, one of the groups that have been organizing the observers. It bans the watchers from approaching, following, or starting a conversation with anyone going to vote and openly wearing body armor or carrying a firearm within 250 feet of the boxes.

Will that be enough to calm tensions in Arizona?

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