The Supreme Court on Thursday said two provisions of an Arizona voting law that restrict how ballots can be cast do not violate the historic Voting Rights Act that bars regulations that result in racial discrimination.
The ruling will limit the ability of minorities to challenge state laws in the future that they say are discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act.
The vote in the case is 6-3 breaking along conservative-liberal ideological lines. Justice Samuel Alito delivered the majority opinion.
The case comes as several Republican-led states, encouraged by former President Donald Trump's unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, are considering more restrictive laws and Democrats are fighting a frantic battle in courts to combat what President Joe Biden has called an "assault on democracy."
The court upheld two provisions of the Arizona law. The first provision says in-person ballots cast at the wrong precinct on Election Day must be wholly discarded. Another provision restricts a practice known as "ballot collection," requiring that only family caregivers, mail carriers and election officials can deliver another person's completed ballot to a polling place.
"Neither Arizona's out-of-precinct rule nor its ballot-collection law violates §2 of the VRA," Alito wrote. "Arizona's out-of-precinct rule enforces the requirement that voters who choose to vote in person on election day must do so in their assigned precincts. Having to identify one's own polling place and then travel there to vote does not exceed the "usual burdens of voting.'"
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