The Latest: Arizona wants high court to restore ballot law

AP News
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Posted: Nov 04, 2016 6:43 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on a challenge to Arizona's new law making it a felony to collect early ballots from voters (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Arizona wants the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a new law that makes it a felony to collect early ballots from voters.

The emergency appeal filed Friday came hours after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the law, saying it was keeping the status quo for Tuesday's election.

The law passed by Republican lawmakers earlier this year made it a crime for groups to go door to door to collect early ballots and deliver them to the polls.

It's especially effective in minority communities, and Democrats allege the law hurts minorities' ability to vote.

GOP Gov. Doug Ducey said it protects the sanctity of ballots. The state's appeal says the 9th Circuit order makes no sense and is creating voter confusion.

Voter outreach groups immediately geared up efforts to collect early ballots to bring to the polls.

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12:45 p.m.

A federal appeals court has blocked an Arizona law making it a felony to collect early ballots, a win for the Democratic get-out-the-vote effort shortly before Election Day.

Friday's order from an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means it won't be a crime for groups to go door to door to collect early ballots from voters and deliver them to the polls. It's a tactic especially effective in minority communities.

A three-judge panel had rejected an effort late last week by Democrats and some voters to block the law. They allege it violates the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act because it hurts minorities' ability to vote.

It comes as the presidential race has gotten closer in the traditionally red state.

The Republican-controlled Legislature enacted the law, which GOP Gov. Doug Ducey signed.