Free Speech For People represents Mi Familia Vota, the Arizona Coalition for Change, and an individual voter registration organizer, in this challenge in federal district court in Arizona, alleging First and Fourteenth Amendment violations as applied.  From March to August 2020, organizations that register citizens to vote in Arizona were effectively prevented from registering due to a stay-at-home order and other restrictions on day-to-day interactions in order to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.  We requested a court order extending the October 5 voter registration cutoff.  Free Speech For People is pleased to partner with the law firms of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP and Osborn Maledon P.A. in this litigation.

On October 5, the court granted a preliminary injunction extending the deadline to October 23, 2020.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee, which intervened in the case, have filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The State of Arizona has also sought to intervene an appeal.

On October 13, 2020, the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling limiting to October 15, 2020 the amount of additional time for voters in Arizona to register to vote for the November 2020 election.

Key Facts

Caption Mi Familia Vota v. Hobbs
Court U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Docket No.

20-16932

Status Preliminary injunction granted; appeal filed by intervenor-defendant
Plaintiffs Mi Familia Vota, Arizona Coalition for Change, and an individual voter registration organizer
Defendants Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State

Background

In Arizona, voters must submit their registrations by 29 days before the election—October 5, 2020. This year, organizations that register citizens to vote were effectively prevented from registering voters from March 30, 2020, when Arizona imposed a stay-at-home order and other restrictions on day-to-day interactions in order to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, to the middle of August when those restrictions were lifted. As a result, new voter registration is far lower than in previous years.

Free Speech For People represents Mi Familia Vota, the Arizona Coalition for Change, and an individual voter registration organizer, in this challenge in federal district court in Arizona, alleging First and Fourteenth Amendment violations as applied. Both organizations have had to divert and spend additional money, time, and other resources they would not otherwise have spent to register voters ahead of the voter registration cutoff because defendant has not extended the voter registration cutoff. Plaintiffs have successfully pivoted their operations to adapt to the pandemic, successfully registering thousands of Arizona voters. Yet Arizona’s voter registration deadline—earlier than most states, threatens to prematurely halt those efforts.

The Secretary of State’s enforcement of the voter registration cutoff under these conditions has frustrated the plaintiffs’ fundamental mission of registering as many voters as possible. We requested a court order extending the October 5 voter registration cutoff to at least October 27, 2020.

We are pleased to partner with the law firms of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP and Osborn Maledon P.A. in this litigation.

Major Case Developments and Documents

Photo by Gage Skidmore / flickr.com