League of Women Voters of Arizona vs. Lions of Liberty LLC, et al.

  • November 1, 2022
Ballot Drop Box
Overview

Overview

On October 25th, 2022, Protect Democracy filed a complaint in federal court on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Arizona against organizations and individuals who have conspired to intimidate voters in Arizona who are using drop boxes to deliver their ballots in the 2022 election. The complaint alleges that the Lions of Liberty and the Yavapai County Preparedness Team (both related to the Oath Keepers of Yavapai County), Clean Elections USA, and several individuals have been “actively planning, coordinating, and recruiting for widespread campaigns to surveil and intimidate Arizona voters at ballot drop boxes and baselessly accuse them—either directly or indirectly—of committing voter fraud, and spread false information about legally valid forms of voting.” As a result, individuals in tactical military gear—and likely armed—are staking out drop boxes, taking pictures and videos of voters, and threatening to release voters’ private information and publicly (and falsely) accuse them of violating the law. Their efforts appear to be inspired by the film 2000 Mules, which has spread thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories about so-called “ballot mules” depositing multiple ballots in drop boxes during the last election.

The League of Women Voters of Arizona sought an injunction and a court order declaring the activity a violation of §11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965—which states that “[n]o person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote”—and of §1985(3) of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871—which prohibits conspiracies to suppress voters “by force, intimidation or threat.” 

On November 1st, 2022, a federal court issued an order barring Defendants from confronting, photographing, doxing voters, and carrying guns and wearing body armor near drop boxes. This decision came after the League of Women Voters of Arizona and Protect Democracy presented the court with evidence from Arizona voters who have experienced intimidation firsthand while attempting to cast their vote via a drop box. At a status conference hearing on October 31st, 2022, the Lions of Liberty and the Yavapai County Preparedness Team officially committed to ending all monitoring of drop boxes in Yavapai County and were subsequently dismissed from the case. 

Voter intimidation is nothing new in the United States, which has a long history of state-led and state-sanctioned racial violence meant to disenfranchise Black voters and other voters of color. However, in recent years there has been an increase in the use of intimidation tactics and threats of violence to silence and intimidate political adversaries. Operation Drop Box and false claims of voter fraud are a continuation of the trend of increased political violence which led to the insurrection and violent assault on Congress on January 6, 2021.

Updates

Updates on the Case

Featured Press

Featured Press

Washington Post Logo

Judge limits ballot drop box monitoring in Arizona after intimidation claims

Nov. 2, 2022
Case Documents

Case Documents

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