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Arizona primary

Arizona holds its state primary election.

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Efforts to expand mailed-in voting has spread through courtrooms and state legislatures. Advocates for expanding voting suffered three defeats recently.

Voting rights advocates suffer three losses

After a string of recent successes, advocates for improving the fairness of elections and expanding access to voting amid the coronavirus pandemic have suffered three defeats in recent days.

The setbacks came in Texas, Arizona and Iowa — all states where the Democrats believe they can score big upsets, at the presidential and congressional levels, if the voting rules are easeds enough to allow significant turnout this fall — no matter the state of the coronavirus pandemic.

The way elections are conducted has been the subject of several dozen lawsuits in state and federal courts as well as battles in numerous state legislatures. Who wins the bulk of them could shape not only President Trump's chances of reelection but also whether the Senate stays in Republican hands or turns Democratic.

The recent decisions are:

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Arizona, where mail voting is already big, won’t accommodate postal delays

Ballots in battleground Arizona won't be counted if they get delayed by the mail this year.

Under the settlement of a federal lawsuit last week, Arizonans will still have to rely on their absentee ballots getting to local election centers by the time polls close.

Because of the coronavirus, which is producing a wave of interest in voting-by-mail at the same time the Postal Service is confronting severe financial hardship, civil rights groups and Democrats have pressed states to relax deadlines for the return of ballot envelopes.

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A new lawsuit asks a federal court to order that Arizona voters be given five days after every election to complete the signature line on a ballot if they left it blank.

Arizona now targeted by a pair of Democratic mail-in-voting lawsuits

Arizona is the latest subject of one of this season's top targets of voting rights litigation: laws that disenfranchise people who forget to sign their absentee ballots or have sloppy handwriting.

With mail-in voting sure to surge because of the coronavirus, easing restrictions on the process has become central to the Democratic effort to boost turnout with courthouse crusades in almost every bellwether state.

The freshest such lawsuit, filed Wednesday, maintains Arizona's signature rules are unconstitutional because voters aren't given an opportunity to correct the mistake of returning an unsigned envelope.

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