SCOTUS Deals an Early Voting Blow to Democrats in Arizona

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SCOTUS Deals an Early Voting Blow to Democrats in Arizona - Citizen Slant
Photo: CBS News

On Saturday, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to Arizona Democrats by reinstating a law banning the collection of early voting ballots.

The law, which had been overturned by a lower court, makes it a felony for outside groups to collect and submit early voting ballots.

The practice commonly has been used in minority neighborhoods. Democrats argued that the law unfairly targets communities of color. On Friday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the law from being implemented, prompting an emergency appeal by the state of Arizona to the Supreme Court.

The ruling, coming just three days before Election Day, could hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances in a state that has only gone Democrat once since 1952, but which has been in play in this election, in part due to the increase in the number of voter registrations by Latino voters.

The practice of ballot collection has been particularly important in border communities and in Native American towns, both of which lean heavily for Mrs. Clinton.

In recent weeks, Trump has opened a lead of anywhere from four to six points in the state. The RealClearPolitics polling average shows the GOP nominee with a five point lead in the state. However, there is a significant increase in independent and unaffiliated voters in the state, a group that includes a large swath of Latino voters.

Additionally, Sheriff Joe Arpaio — one of the best known law enforcement officials in the country — who is running for his 7th term is trailing his Democratic challenger by double digit margins in by far the largest county in Arizona.

While the Republican nominee looks like he is in good shape to score a victory, it is not a done deal yet. Mrs. Clinton is definitely within striking distance, which means that Mr. Trump may have to continue to expend resources badly needed elsewhere.

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