On Thursday, the US Supreme court upheld an Arizona law which will limit how absentee ballots can be returned by voters.
The law, which was passed in 2016, banned unions and advocacy groups from collecting mail-in ballots by voters to halt the controversial practice that critics call “ballot harvesting.” Only family and household members, as well as mail carriers, have been allowed to collect voters’ ballots as per the legislation.
George W.Bush-era Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion for a 6-3 majority on Thursday in support of the Arizona law, which was debated in the Supreme Court from March. Associate Justice Elena Kagan wrote a dissent in the case.
The California-based US Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit found that these policies were disproportionately hurting Native American, Black, and Latino voters, prompting Arizona officials to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The case came in light of widespread voter fraud allegations that have become political flashpoints during 2020 presidential election in the US. Donald Trump, who lost the election in the state by less than 11,000 votes, slammed the practice of ballot harvesting.
Arizona remains one of ten American states where family members are allowed to return a voter’s ballot, while 26 states allow the voter to designate a third party to return their ballots.