Arizona judge orders armed election monitors to stay 250 feet from drop boxes after voters said they felt intimidated by their presence

A judge in Arizona on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order keeping a group of armed poll watchers at least 250 feet from drop boxes, after a string of complaints that voters felt intimated by people carrying firearms as they monitored voting.

The order also prevents monitors taking photographs of voters and requires them to refrain from claiming that anyone depositing multiple ballots is behaving illegally.

Arizona spawned a string of conspiracy theories in 2020 as supporters of Donald Trump tried to overturn his defeat in the state.

Ahead of midterm elections, a string of groups – included Clean Elections USA, Yavapai County Preparedness Team and an offshoot of the Oath Keepers named the Lions of Liberty – announced plans to keep watch over drop boxers to prevent people stuffing them with hundreds of ballots.

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The Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and the League of Women Voters took reports of intimidation to court in an effort to keep monitors away.

On Tuesday, the two sides agreed a set of measures to protect voters from intimidation.


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