AFPI Asks Court to Stop Arizona from Limiting Monitoring of Drop Boxes and Polling Places

February 12, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) announced the filing of a lawsuit in Maricopa County on behalf of Arizona Free Enterprise Club to block Arizona’s Secretary of State from limiting concerned citizens from monitoring activities at election drop boxes and polling places during the upcoming 2024 primary and general elections.

“Transparency in the election process helps protect legal votes and legal voters. So, it makes you really wonder why Governor Hobbs and Secretary Fontes are doing everything they can to stop people from monitoring polling locations and drop boxes," said Hogan Gidley, AFPI’s Vice Chair of the Center for Election Integrity.

The new rules creating an exclusion zone around drop boxes and polling sites can be found in the official Election Procedures Manual (EPM) published by the Secretary of State’s Office and approved by the Governor. The new standards violate Arizonian’s First Amendment rights and put individuals at risk of criminal prosecution simply for monitoring drop boxes and polling locations to ensure people don’t attempt to illegally vote or drop off dozens and dozens of ballots.

“In an era of citizen journalism, the people have a right to keep a watchful eye on government and ensure that laws already on the books are followed when it comes to protecting the integrity of our elections,” said Jessica Hart Steinmann, AFPI’s General Counsel and former Senior Official in the U.S. Department of Justice under President Donald J. Trump. “Arizona law already prohibits non-voters from being intimidated or threatened, these new ‘rules’ try to broaden long-standing definitions to keep the public in the dark.”

AFPI and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club are asking the court to invalidate the illegal provisions of the state’s Election Procedures Manual and attorneys' fees.

A copy of the suit can be found here.


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