A federal judge on Friday rejected a civil lawsuit seeking to block grassroots volunteers who mobilized to monitor absentee ballot drop boxes in Arizona.
The civil lawsuit accused defendants Melody Jennings, the founder of the Clean Elections USA (CEUSA) website, and a group of grassroots volunteers of purported voter intimidation at Arizona’s two outdoor ballot drop boxes in Mesa and Maricopa counties.
Two non-profit organizations, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Voto Latino, filed the civil suit.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael T. Liburdi for the District of Arizona on Friday dismissed Voto Latino from the case for not having standing because it didn’t show “concrete or particularized injury.”
“The Court has struggled to craft a meaningful form of injunctive relief that does not violate Defendants’ First Amendment rights and those of the drop box observers,” Liburdi said in his ruling (pdf).
Liburdi noted that many voters are “legitimately alarmed” by the drop box observers filming, but their conduct doesn’t constitute either voter intimidation or a true threat.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Voto Latino for comment.
The drop boxes in question are in parking lots for voters to drive up and deposit their ballots from their vehicles.
According to the lawsuit (pdf), one voter filed a complaint alleging that a group of individuals gathered near the Mesa County ballot drop box and photographed and accused the voter and his wife of being mules.
Another complaint alleges that “individuals took photographs of a voter and his vehicle’s license plate,” according to the court filing. A third formal complaint alleges five or six men stood in the Mesa ballot drop box parking lot, taking photographs of the voter’s vehicle and license plate.
The lawsuit also alleges that Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Mesa drop box location to investigate armed and masked observers wearing body armor.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for comment.