An attorney for the Arizona Republican Party acknowledged that the GOP supports voting restrictions because they disadvantage Democrats, NBC News reports.
The Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday over Arizona’s voting restrictions banning the collection of ballots by third parties and a policy that discards ballots that are cast in the wrong precinct.
The cases were brought by Democrats, who argue the laws discriminate against voters of color and violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
The case could have significant implications for the fate of Section 2, which “prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in one of the language minority groups identified in Section 4.”
GOP: Restrictions help us win
Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked Republican lawyer Michael Carvin about why the state’s Republican Party inserted itself into a lawsuit against the state.
“What’s the interest of the Arizona RNC in keeping, say, the out-of-precinct ballot disqualification rules on the books?" she asked.
“Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats,” Carvin replied. “Politics is a zero-sum game. And every extra vote they get through unlawful interpretation of Section 2 hurts us, it’s the difference between winning an election 50-49 and losing an election 51 to 50.”
Carvin said the quiet part out loud:
The Republican National Committee has argued that the restrictions are necessary for election integrity, not to help Republicans win races.
"It is critical that all voters have confidence in the integrity and legitimacy of our elections. The Supreme Court should reject Democrats’ attempts to weaponize the Voting Rights Act in the name of partisan politics,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
But voting rights activists say Carvin gave away the game.
"Wow," tweeted Wendy Weiser, vice president of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "This year, there is no longer a quiet part."