Rep. Mark Finchem on Supreme Court Ruling Brnovich v. DNC and Arizona’s Election Laws


JULY 1, 2021, Oro Valley, AZ

The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the authority of the Arizona Legislature to protect systemic election integrity. In the 6-3 decision concerning what is commonly known as “ballot harvesting” the Supreme Court overturned the 9th Circuit Court ruling against the 2016 measure, HB-2023. The Arizona Legislature passed good law specifying that ballots can only be carried by the voter and their immediate family members, and ensuring provisional ballots are cast at the correct precinct. In Brnovich v. Democrat National Committee, the DNC claimed a violation of the Voting Rights Act. 

The Court Held: “Arizona’s out-of-precinct policy and HB 2023 do not violate §2 of the VRA, and HB 2023 was not enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose.” Pp. 12–37.

The court stressed, “The size of the burden imposed by a challenged voting rule is highly relevant. Voting necessarily requires some effort and compliance with some rules; thus, the concept of a voting system that is “equally open” and that furnishes equal “opportunity” to cast a ballot must tolerate the “usual burdens of voting.”

The Court also took note, “Arizona law generally makes it very easy to vote. Voters may cast their ballots on election day in person at a traditional precinct or a “voting center” in their county of residence. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §16–411(B)(4). Arizonans also may cast an “early ballot” by mail up to 27 days before an election, §§16–541, 16–542(C), and they also may vote in person at an early voting location in each county, §§16–542(A), (E). These cases involve challenges under §2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) to aspects of the State’s regulations governing precinct-based election-day voting and early mail-in voting.”

Representative Finchem voted for the legislation when it came before the Arizona House of Representatives, and continues to support measures that ensure election integrity.