An attorney for Arizona’s Republican Party said the quiet part out loud on Tuesday while defending the state’s voting laws in the Supreme Court. The lawyer argued that the laws, which disenfranchises people of color, are necessary because they help Republicans win.
“What’s the interest of the Arizona RNC in keeping, say, the out-of-precinct ballot disqualification rules on the books?” Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked, according to NBC news.
“Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats,” Michael Carvin, the lawyer defending the state’s restrictions said. “Politics is a zero-sum game. And every extra vote they get through unlawful interpretation of Section 2 hurts us, it’s the difference between winning an election 50-49 and losing an election 51 to 50.”
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments about whether two Arizona election laws violate the Voting Rights Act.
One of the laws disqualifies ballots if voters cast them in the wrong precinct and the other prohibits anyone but a family member, household member or caregiver from turning in another person’s ballot.
Republicans argue that the laws prevent fraud, while Democrats say the rules prevent minority voters from accessing the ballot.
These restrictive voting laws in Arizona came after the Republican Party, saw their dominance in the state’s local and national races wiped out in the November election.
Democrats win both seats in the Senate contest and the presidential race there in 2020.