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US court to reconsider appeal on Arizona election issues

Posted: 12:24 PM, Jan 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-04 19:24:00Z
Less than half of early mail-in ballots returned

PHOENIX (AP) - A federal appeals court will reconsider its earlier ruling against a challenge to Arizona's restrictions on collection of early ballots and refusing to count votes cast in the wrong precinct.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday a larger panel of judges will review an appeal of a trial judge's denial of the challenge by Democratic Party officials who said Arizona's practices disproportionately affect minority voters.

A three-judge panel on Sept. 12 ruled that not counting ballots cast in the wrong precinct and making third-party ballot harvesting a felony created "a minimal burden."

The Sept. 12 ruling also said the Republican-led Legislature did not intend to discriminate when it enacted the 2016 law that allows only family members and caregivers to deliver early ballots to polling places.