SCOTUS hearing a 'twofer' on election integrity

Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Chris Woodward, Chad Groening (

U.S. Supreme CourtThe U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments today in two cases involving election integrity in Arizona – and they have nothing to do with the most recent presidential election.

The two cases – known as Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee and Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committeehave been consolidated into one case under the Brnovich designation (Mark Brnovich is the Republican attorney general of Arizona). Neither of the cases involve the 2020 election, but were challenged in court before the 2016 election. One News Now spoke with Zack Smith, a legal fellow for The Heritage Foundation, who says it's worth watching how SCOTUS rules on the two issues being argued.

"There are basically two issues in this case," Smith begins. "The first is: Arizona has a law that requires everyone to vote in their assigned precinct on Election Day; and if you show up to a precinct that is not your assigned one, you can cast a provisional ballot. But if it turns out that you in fact voted at the wrong precinct, Arizona will throw out your entire ballot. So, they require someone to vote at their assigned precinct."

The second issue, Smith explains, involves ballot harvesting. "[That's] where groups of individuals go around collecting absentee ballots to deliver them to be counted," he says.


And that's a process, he argues, that opens up the electoral process for potential fraud.

"[That's why] many states, including Arizona, have banned it and only allow certain specified individuals to deliver an absentee ballot for someone," Smith continues.

"So basically, those two provisions of Arizona election law – the requirement that someone vote in their assigned precinct on Election Day; and the prohibition on ballot harvesting by third-party groups – are what are being challenged in this case."

A big question with an obvious answer

A tea party leader in Ohio is pleased the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in the two election integrity lawsuits.

"This could be a key decision," says Tom Zawistowski, president of We the People Convention. "But then again, who knows how will the politicized Supreme Court rule? That's the big question, because this seems pretty black and white [to me] that it's against the law to vote in a place where you don't live."

Zawistowski recalls that several legal challenges were being sent to the Supreme Court after the 2020 election on an emergency basis.

"[But] this is different, in that it has already gone through the federal district court and then through the Ninth Circuit Appeals," he points out, "so it has kind of followed the process the Supreme Court is used to. I think that's a big reason why they agreed to take it a long time ago."

The same process, he says, could be used to get future election fraud cases heard by the high court.

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