Arizona: Judge Sets Limits on Policing Election Drop Boxes

PHOENIX (HPD) β€” A federal judge ordered Tuesday that armed members of a group that monitors Arizona’s drop boxes must stay at least 250 feet (76 meters) from the sites after multiple complaints that people armed and with their faces covered were intimidating voters.

U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi said members of the group Clean Elections USA, their leader and anyone collaborating with them are prohibited from recording or following anyone closer than 75 feet (23 meters) away. of the polling box or at the entrance of a building that houses one. They also cannot speak to shout at people within that perimeter, unless the word is addressed to them.

The temporary restraining order was requested by the League of Women Voters of Arizona after Clean Elections USA encouraged people to monitor election drop boxes in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous, 24 hours a day.

β€œIt is paramount that we balance the rights of defendants to engage in their First Amendment-protected activity with the interest of plaintiffs and voters to cast a vote free from harassment and intimidation,” Liburdi said.

A second set of defendants in rural Yavapai County, groups known as The Lions of Liberty and Yavapai County Preparedness, which is associated with the far-right group Oath Keepers, were dismissed from the case Monday after promising to scale back their operations.

Local and federal authorities have been alarmed by reports of people, some of them masked and armed, guarding election drop boxes 24 hours a day in the two counties as the midterm elections approach.

Some voters have reported intimidation after mailbox guards took photos and videos and followed those who cast their ballots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *