·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

Voting Rights Advocates File Lawsuit Against Dropbox Patrol Groups in Arizona

— October 26, 2022

The lawsuit accuses two Oath Keepers-associated groups with intimidating voters who try to drop off their loved ones’ ballots.

The Arizona chapter of the League of Women Voters has filed a federal lawsuit targeting organizations and groups that are purportedly “intimidating” local voters through a coordinated effort known as “Operation Drop Box.”

According to CNN, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of the League in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The League of Women Voters is represented by Protect Democracy.

CNN reports that the complaint is the second recent lawsuit alleging that individuals—many of whom are armed—have been staking out voting locations across the state.

Protect Democracy asserts that such misconduct is in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act, along with other legislation, which prohibits conspiracies to intimidate voters.

The lawsuit is seeking a court order blocking the named defendants from “further intimidating voters or otherwise violating the law.”

Specifically, the complaint claims that the Lions of Liberty LLC and the Yavapai County Preparedness Team—both groups that the League of Women Voters says are connected to the Oath Keepers of Yavapai County—along with another organization, Clean Elections USA, 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.”

The same organizations are also allegedly telling voters—erroneously—that they are breaking the law if they deposit a ballot for another person.

However, Arizona law explicitly lets household members, care givers, and election officials assist voters by depositing ballots on their behalf.

The League of Women Voters and Protect Democracy together claim that the Yavapai County Preparedness Team are engaged in “a widespread campaign to surveil all drop boxes in Yavapai County, film voters and then report to law enforcement any voters who deposit multiple ballots.”

Voting materials and stickers. Image via U.S. Embassy in Chile via Wikimedia Commons (CCA-BY-2.0).

The Preparedness Team has asked “patriots” to take turns monitoring drop box locations and to photograph any voters who appear to deposit more than one ballot at a time. These photographs are then to be turned over to local law enforcement, along with pictures of the voters’ cars and license plates.

The lawsuit claims that the so-called “Dropbox Initiative 2022” intends to “baselessly accuse voters of being ‘mules’ and to ‘dox’ them by publicly revealing their personal information online.”

“These surveillance-and-intimidation campaigns,” the lawsuit says, “are simply modern-day efforts to engage in illegal voter intimidation by forcing voters who want to cast their ballots by drop box to do so while being surveilled by vigilantes and under the threat that they will be baselessly accused of voter fraud.”


Ballot box watchers in Arizona face lawsuits by voting-rights advocates

Lawsuit filed to stop vigilante surveillance of drop boxes in Arizona

Join the conversation!