An Arizona Federal Judge has ruled in favor of a group that’s been monitoring ballot drop boxes within the state ahead of the November midterms.
Lawyers for the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Voto Latino filed suit against Clean Elections USA, an organization run by Melody Jennings that’s been monitoring two drop boxes in Maricopa County.
You have to wonder, how does anyone claiming to desire a fair election have a problem with the simple anti-fraud measures Jennings helped put in place?
The lawsuit claims that multiple voters have filed formal complaints with the county, alleging they were subjects of intimidation by those guarding the boxes.
“In the last several days, three separate Maricopa County voters filed formal complaints related to voter intimidation near both early voter drop boxes,” reads a direct excerpt from the lawsuit.
The plaintiff’s request for a temporary restraining order was denied by U.S. District Judge Michael T. Liburdi, who ruled the lawsuit didn’t demonstrate “any evidence that Defendants’ conduct constitutes a true threat.”
One of the formal complaints claimed that he was surrounded and photographed by a group of individuals who “accused the voter and his wife of being mules.” The complaint says they were briefly followed and had their vehicle’s license plate photographed.
The lawsuit also says that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office was “dispatched to the Mesa drop box location to investigate armed and masked observers wearing body armor.”
Judge Liburdi wasn’t buying it, as he pointed out the fact there is insufficient evidence to support those claims.
“On this record, Defendants have not made any statements threatening to commit acts of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals. There is no evidence that Defendants have publicly posted any voter’s names, home addresses, occupations, or other personal information,” wrote the judge in a post-ruling statement.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the judge was also kind enough to highlight how the defendants’ actions are legal under the First Amendment.
The “court has struggled to craft a meaningful form of injunctive relief that does not violate Defendants’ First Amendment rights and those of the drop box observers,” he said.
Judge Liburdi did say “irreparable harm factor tips in favor of Plaintiffs.” However, his final ruling was in favor of Voto Latino.
“Voto Latino has not shown any other concrete or particularized injury,” aside from “speculative” concerns that the group may have to divert financial resources “to develop an educational campaign on how to respond to voter intimidation.”
Liburdi, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, has left the case open.
The left doesn’t show any indication they intend to let this go. Many on the left are using the familiar “danger to democracy” rhetoric, as they’ve done with Russia and several other instances where an emotional rallying cry is necessary.
A danger to democracy, and an echo of our past. https://t.co/9oqeW2YBTm
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) October 26, 2022
Attorneys for AARA have already issued notices to appeal the decision. Additionally, Arizona nonprofit organization “Activate 48” sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, pleading for federal assistance with complaints of voter intimidation.