With a hotly contested election conducted during a pandemic, some states changed the rules to make voting easier and safer. Many critics say that also introduced opportunity for fraud. After 2020, reasonable people want fewer questions about voting, and that includes not only on the opportunity to vote but also assurance that everyone’s vote counts the same. Amid that backdrop, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in a case over Arizona election law. Questioning by the judges indicates that citizens of Pinal County and Arizona should be able to enjoy the protections they have.
A ruling in the case will come months later, but the court’s six conservative justices indicated they did not favor a lower court ruling that would set aside Arizona’s 2016 law, which was in effect for the November election. The law bans “ballot harvesting,” or collection of ballots by anyone other than family members and caregivers. Another provision allows rejection of ballots cast in the wrong precinct. The lower court had said Arizona law could result in discrimination against people of color, but is this really about race?
Ballots can be returned easily by mail, although critics have questioned the security of that in some areas. But most Arizonans likely would agree that the post office does a pretty good job and its reliability is not in doubt.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh pointed to a recommendation in 2005 of a bipartisan commission chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and the late James Baker calling for the elimination of ballot collection by activists.
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump has made wild, unjustified claims of widespread election fraud as Democrats have introduced legislation in Congress that would remove some of the security rules from elections. Both approaches are wrong, and states that run elections responsibly, including Arizona, should be allowed to continue. There is nothing wrong with showing an ID to vote and limiting who can handle ballots. That ensures that every ballot will count — and count equally.
— Donovan Kramer Jr.