The absurdity of lax voting laws has taken a mighty blow.
In a court decision even some left-oriented justices could not abide, the Supreme Court has voted in favor of Arizona’s ban on ballot-harvesting practices – permitting only persons related to or otherwise acting someone’s caretaker to turn in ballots on another person’s behalf. Additionally, ballots must be submitted at a voter’s assigned precinct – votes turned in at the incorrect precinct will not be counted. In essence, the Supreme Court has done little more than enforce the Voting Rights Act.
This 6-3 vote, predictably, has many outraged.
Ballot-harvesting, the act of collecting many hundreds – possibly thousands – of mail-in or absentee ballots from residents to be turned in, reached new heights of prevalence during the 2020 election due to fears of covid. This passing of the buck is not a secure procedure for secure elections, as it deviates from any credible chain of custody. Not exactly the type of thing you’d seek to normalize if you wanted a free, fair, or secure election people could have faith in when the results came in (eventually).
The anger expressed at the outcome of this SCOTUS decision is a curious indicator as to what is most valued in the process by either side of the political aisle. Accessibility versus rigor. Convenience verse responsibility. Should someone who can’t be bothered to look up the location of their own precinct (Arizona sends regular updates to registered voters when such things change) or show up to vote in person be catered to?
Judge Alito, who penned the opinion, put the point bluntly, “Having to identify one’s own polling place and then travel there to vote does not exceed the ‘usual burdens of voting…On the contrary, these tasks are quintessential examples of the usual burdens of voting.”