President Joe Biden's Department of Justice has filed a legal brief offering official backing for a lawsuit to stop voter intimidation at ballot dropboxes in Arizona.
In a 25-page court filing, Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said that the DOJ would back a lawsuit brought by the League of Women Voters of Arizona.
"This case alleges that organized and sometimes armed groups of individuals have engaged in campaigns to surveil, video record, and harass voters as they exercise their most fundamental right, the right to vote," the filing noted. "These allegations raise serious concerns of voter intimidation, which is proscribed under Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act."
According to the DOJ filing, the Voting Rights Act "does not require proof that a defendant caused a voter to refrain from casting a ballot or to vote contrary to their preferences."
"Although lawful poll-watching activities can support democratic transparency and accountability, when private citizens form 'ballot security forces' and attempt to take over the State's legitimate role of overseeing and policing elections, the risk of voter intimidation—and violating federal law—is significant," the document added.
Last week, a judge declined to bar a group of conservatives from watching ballot dropboxes in Arizona. The judge said that plaintiffs would have another opportunity to make their argument against the conservative activists.
Read the court filing here.