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Arizona group settles lawsuit over armed ballot drop box monitors in tactical gear

By Ben Giles
Published: Monday, May 22, 2023 - 12:32pm

An official ballot drop box at Maricopa County Elections Department
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
An official ballot drop box at Maricopa County Elections Department's office in Phoenix.

The League of Women Voters of Arizona has settled its lawsuit against an Arizona group that sometimes monitored ballot drop boxes while in tactical military gear in 2022.

The League, which filed its case in October, argued efforts by the organization formerly known as Clean Elections USA, led by Melody Jennings, amounted to illegal voter intimidation. 

The group, inspired in part by the debunked film “2000 Mules,” previously maintained it was looking for signs of fraud.

As part of the settlement, Jennings agreed to “publicly condemn intimidation of any kind in connection with the exercise of the right to vote.”

The remaining terms of the settlement are confidential, according to League officials. 

A federal judge had previously ordered Jennings and Clean Elections USA, as well as other Arizona-based organizations working alongside them, to stay at least 75 feet away from ballot drop boxes and cease taking photos and videos of people dropping of their ballots.

That November order also barred anyone openly carrying a weapon or wearing body armor from getting within 250 feet of a ballot drop box.

“This litigation has been essential to protect the voters of Arizona, who have the right to cast their ballots free from intimidation, threats, or coercion,” said Pinny Sheoran, president of the League of Women Voters of Arizona.

Politics Elections