PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court declined Tuesday to consider a request by the Arizona Republican Party to eliminate the early voting system used by 90 percent of the state’s voters and require nearly all voters to cast ballots in person on Election Day.
The court ruled that the case did not meet the limited criteria for a lawsuit filed directly to the state’s high court but said the GOP could take its case to Superior Court.
The lawsuit filed in February argued absentee voting is unconstitutional and asked the justices to get rid of it or at least eliminate the no-excuse absentee balloting system Arizona adopted in 1991 and has steadily expanded ever since.
The lawsuit comes amid GOP efforts on many fronts to remake the system for casting and counting votes as former President Donald Trump repeats the lie that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud in Arizona and other battleground states. It was blasted by Democrats and voting rights advocates who said the argument was deeply flawed and aimed at undermining elections.
The Arizona Republican Party and its combative chairwoman, Kelli Ward, have been at the forefront of Trump’s efforts to cast doubt on the 2020 election results and block the certification of Democratic President Joe Biden’s victory. The latest lawsuit was filed by the state GOP and Yvonne Cahill, the party’s secretary.