Arizona appeals court rules against GOP lawsuit claiming mail-in voting violates state constitution

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On Tuesday, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled unanimously to affirm a lower court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit from the Arizona Republican Party and Chairwoman Kelli Ward challenging the state’s mail-in voting system, saying it violates the state’s constitution in regards to “secrecy in voting.”

In the court’s opinion, issued by Judge Cynthia J. Bailey, she wrote that “When the Arizona Constitution was adopted, the definitions of ‘secrecy’ included ‘the state or quality of being hidden; concealment,'” according to a 1912 version of the New Websterian Dictionary.

The same dictionary read that “‘Preserve’ definitions included ‘to keep from injury; defend; uphold; save; keep in a sound state.'”

“Thus, the Secrecy Clause’s meaning is clear: when providing for voting by ballot or any other method, the legislature must uphold voters’ ability to conceal their choices. The constitution does not mandate any particular method for preserving secrecy in voting,” wrote Bailey.

Bailey continued on to say that the state’s main-in voting laws “preserve secrecy in voting by requiring voters to ensure they fill out their ballot in secret and seal the ballot in an envelope that does not disclose the voters’ choices.”

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