A federal court ruled this week that the entire Republican Party of Arizona engaged in discrimination against minorities when they decided several years ago to end the collection of ballots by contractors. This move prevented many minorities from being able to vote because they were no longer able to mail in their ballots and couldn’t otherwise travel to polling stations on election day. This is a huge victory for minorities in Arizona, and could have major ramifications in November, as Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

You know, there’s really a lot of evidence out there to tell us that, yeah, the Republican party likes to discriminate against people. They discriminate against people of color. They discriminate against people with different religions. I mean, we see that with the, the immigration ban that’s trying to happen right now. The refugee ban, the Muslim ban, they discriminate against poor people, which we’re seeing right now with the public charge. And of course, every policy they put out, the Republican party discriminates against people. And now that’s no longer our opinion. That is the official opinion of a federal court, this week. A federal court in Arizona ruled that the entire Republican party in the state of Arizona intentionally discriminated against minorities in the state four years ago when they passed a law that said, we can’t do mail in ballots anymore because we can’t have third party groups picking them up, a practice called ballot harvesting.

And if you knew this, you’re going to be looking at jail time. So basically they threatened people in the state that if you try to mail in a ballot through a third party, which means not US mail, you could go to jail. You don’t want that, do you? And the voters in the state said, no God, no, we don’t want to risk jail time for just trying to vote. So I guess we just won’t vote. And the judge found, based on the evidence, that evidence, that this did disproportionately target minorities, African-Americans, the Hispanic population and the Native Americans in the state. And Arizona has a pretty decent population of each one of those groups. And their voter turnout in the elections since that law was passed four years ago, dropped significantly. And that was the plan, the judge says. That is what Republicans wanted to happen.

So the judge struck down their law and then again said you intentionally discriminated against these groups of people. So here’s what happens now. Obviously the Republicans in the state are going to appeal this. Maybe the higher courts are gonna disagree. Maybe they’re going to agree, maybe it goes to the Supreme Court or maybe it stays the way it is and this coming November, more people get the opportunity to vote, which is very sad for this Republicans in the state of Arizona because they’re already facing a very massive uphill battle, right? They’ve got who Martha McSally as their Republican governor appointed Senator who had already lost a Senate race and given the fact that she’s pretty well hated outside of Arizona and starting to be more and more hated inside Arizona, she is facing a very tough reelection and if all these groups that her party had discriminated against for four years can now vote, they’re probably not going to flock to the party that been barring them from the polls for four years. But again, the cruelty is the point. The suppression is the point. That’s what Republicans want to do because they can’t win elections on policy. They can only win when they suppress democratic voters, and at least for now in the state of Arizona, that’s not going to happen. We’ll have to wait and see if this stays in place. By the time the November election rolls around, but if it does, that is going to spell certain doom for a lot of Arizona Republicans.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced