Arizona Federal District Judge Restricts Interference of Poll-Watching Group
An Arizona federal district judge narrowed a poll-watching group’s ability to monitor ballot drop boxes by issuing restrictions on taking photos and videos of early voters and prohibiting the open carry of firearms and wearing tactical gear within 250 feet of a drop box. The temporary restraining order, issued Nov. 1 by U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi bars affiliates and members of the poll-watching group Clean Elections USA from taking photos and videos of people within 75 feet of a drop box; following, yelling or speaking to people dropping off ballots unless they’re engaged first; and standing within 75 feet of a drop box.
Arizona Federal District Judge Denies Injunction Against Arizona Poll Watching Group, DOJ Disagrees
On Oct. 28, U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi denied a request to block a poll-watching group from surveilling drop boxes citing First Amendment concerns. Three days later, the Department of Justice signaled its disapproval of the judge’s ruling in a statement of interest, stating that "The First Amendment does not protect individuals’ right to assemble to engage in voter intimidation or coercion.”