GOP lawsuit looks to throw out absentee voting in Arizona

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Zhuanghe PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Republican Celebration is asking the state Supreme Court docket to strike down the vote-by-mail system utilized by 90% of voters in a battleground state that will likely be essential to figuring out which celebration controls the U.S. Senate after the 2022 election.

The lawsuit filed Friday argues absentee voting is unconstitutional and asks the justices to do away with it or no less than remove the no-excuse absentee balloting system Arizona adopted in 1991 and has steadily expanded ever since.

“In-person voting on the polls on a hard and fast date (election day) is the one constitutional method of voting in Arizona,” attorneys for the GOP wrote of their petition to the Arizona Supreme Court docket.

The lawsuit comes amid GOP efforts on many fronts to remake the system for casting and counting votes as former President Donald Trump repeats the lie that he misplaced the 2020 election due to fraud in Arizona and different battleground states.

It’s modeled on the same lawsuit in Pennsylvania, the place a courtroom in January struck down the state’s two-year-old mail voting regulation. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has appealed to the state Supreme Court docket

The Arizona Republican Celebration and its combative chairwoman, Kelli Ward, have been on the forefront of Trump’s efforts to solid doubt on the 2020 election outcomes and block the certification of Democratic President Joe Biden’s victory. The most recent go well with was filed by the state GOP and Yvonne Cahill, the celebration’s secretary. Ward just isn’t named as a plaintiff.

A number of payments launched within the Legislature intention to remove or severely prohibit mail balloting, although some look unlikely to succeed because of opposition from a number of Republicans. Lawmakers voted Monday to place a query on the 2022 poll that, if accepted, would require voters to write down their birthday and both a driver’s license quantity or partial Social Safety quantity on mail ballots beginning in 2024.

The go well with drew swift condemnation from Democrats who mentioned the GOP is attacking a safe and standard voting methodology.

“I sit up for as soon as once more defending the voters of Arizona and defeating this ridiculous try and undermine our elections,” mentioned Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat and a defendant within the case.

The lawsuit is predicated on lies and conspiracy theories in regards to the 2020 election, mentioned Raquel Terán, a state senator and chairwoman of the Arizona Democratic Celebration.

“So that is one more try by the Arizona Republicans to make it more durable for individuals to vote,” Terán mentioned.

The lawsuit cites a provision of the state structure outlining the procedures for residents to suggest their very own legal guidelines. The structure says initiatives are determined in “such method that the electors could categorical on the polls their approval or disapproval of (a) measure.”

The inclusion of the phrase “on the polls” means the structure requires ballots to be solid solely at in-person polling locations, attorneys from the agency Davillier Regulation Group argued.

They ask the justices to throw out all early voting procedures. If the justices are unwilling to go that far, the GOP asks the courtroom to roll again the growth of no-excuse absentee voting since 1991, remove poll drop containers, prohibit poll counting earlier than election day, or prohibit voting absentee on initiatives and referenda.

The GOP didn’t problem absentee voting for members of the navy, which the state is required to permit by federal regulation.

In 2020, 90% of Arizona voters used a poll that arrived within the mail, which could be returned by means of the U.S. Postal Service, an official drop field run by county election officers or to a polling place. The ballots are collected at a central warehouse, the place employees affirm the signature on the surface of the poll envelope matches signatures on file to confirm the vote is respectable.

There was no widespread fraud.


Related Press author Bob Christie contributed to this report.

As No. 4 Utah prepares for Arizona, where do the Red Rocks stand?

Utah gymnasts have endured some early adversity

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah’s Abby Paulson competes on the beam throughout their gymnastics meet with Stanford on the Huntsman Heart in Salt Lake Metropolis, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022.

At a look, Utah’s gymnastics meet at Arizona on Friday must be a runaway win for the Utes. The Utes have scored 197 or greater in each meet this season and are coming off their two greatest meets of the season whereas Arizona has but to interrupt the 197 mark and hasn’t gained a meet. It’s logical to suppose the Utes can have a simple evening.

That is the purpose when gymnastics followers will begin laughing, due to course, nothing appears to be logical about this season and every thing appears to be exhausting.

Simply take a look at how Washington pushed the Utes earlier this week. The Huskies entered Monday’s meet with the Utes in the same place to Arizona, not having damaged the 197 mark all season, but the Huskies mustered their greatest exhibiting of the 12 months to make it a nail-biter of a meet till the Utes lastly locked down a 197.95-197.275 win.

However right here is the factor, the Utes aren’t the one ones dealing with harder than anticipated competitors, it’s taking place in all places.

With simply three weeks left within the common season, lower than .5 separates the highest 4 groups with Michigan in No. 1 with a 197.92 nationwide qualifying rating adopted by Oklahoma )197.64), Florida (197.63) and Utah (197.515) whereas Auburn (197.375), LSU (197.36) and Alabama (197.355) aren’t far behind.

Following these, one other 10 groups have NQS scores within the 196 vary.

It’s all coming collectively to make the postseason essentially the most entertaining but.

From what the Utes have seen, getting out of the Pac-12 with none extra losses will likely be a problem sufficient, a lot much less advancing from regionals to the NCAA Championships.

So what can we count on? Here’s a take a look at how issues are shaping up because the season winds down.

Michigan has confirmed it’s NCAA title final 12 months wasn’t a one-off because it has had an unimaginable season, scoring 197.6 or greater in each meet, together with a 198.525.

Oklahoma and Florida are two skilled groups that all the time appear to seek out their method into the nationwide title image and this 12 months is not any totally different.

The Utes beat the Sooners 197.775-196.65 within the second meet of the 12 months. Since then, the Sooners have scored 198 or greater in three of the final 5 meets, so Oklahoma is trying just like the workforce that gained nationwide titles in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019.

Florida seems to be the tops of the SEC, notably after defeating LSU 198.15-197.825, however don’t rely the Tigers out as they’re an skilled workforce accustomed to competing within the postseason. Auburn and Alabama are proper there, too, particularly with Auburn’s Suni Lee being top-of-the-line within the all-around the final 4 meets.

The Olympian hasn’t scored lower than 39.575 within the final 4 meets and earned an 39.825 in opposition to LSU.

Minnesota (196.865), Missouri (196.79) and Denver (196.64) are different groups that shouldn’t be counted out of the postseason as they’ve the aptitude of an upset or two. Missouri already scored one upset, beating LSU final week.

Nearer to house, the Pac-12 has been attention-grabbing for the presence of sure groups and the shortage of others.

Utah is at present the one Pac-12 workforce within the High 10, however the lack of different groups is deceptive. UCLA has been one of the vital inconsistent groups, scoring within the 197s one evening, 196 the opposite and 195 the subsequent, but when the Bruins can get previous the workforce distractions they might be a consider April.

Cal doesn’t have the three crucial highway scores to be counted within the NQS, however the Bears confirmed with their 197.525-197.275 win over Utah they intend to be within the postseason combine.

Washington seems prefer it’s a workforce that’s discovering its successful kind beneath first-year coach Jen Llewellyn, and Stanford and Arizona State are hanging round as properly.

The Wildcats, Utah’s opponent on Friday, have scored 196 or greater of their final three conferences. These sorts of scores shouldn’t be sufficient to make them a lot of a menace for the Utes. However this season, every thing must be thought of and nothing will be discounted.

Arizona blows out Utah as rebuilding Utes take a step back following two-game winning streak

Utah saved it aggressive in opposition to Arizona the primary time round. Thursday night time proved to be the alternative.

Utah middle Branden Carlson, left, and Arizona ahead Azuolas Tubelis vie for a rebound through the first half of an NCAA faculty basketball recreation Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Salt Lake Metropolis. (AP Picture/Rick Bowmer)

Chebba Salt Lake Metropolis • Craig Smith started this week by speaking concerning the idea of malleability. All year long, he argued, groups can change form, getting higher or getting worse. One month, a workforce is likely to be among the many finest within the nation and subsequent it’d play like a convention bottom-dweller.

His level was Utah could also be an 11-16 workforce, and 4-13 within the Pac-12, however just lately it was taking part in above its file. After two street wins, he thought this model of Utah might be aggressive in opposition to No. 2 ranked Arizona.

However the idea of malleability works in each methods. Utah discovered that on Thursday night time in a 97-77 loss to Arizona. As a substitute of getting nearer to beating one of many nation’s finest, it discovered itself additional away with a deficit that ballooned rapidly and by no means improved.

“It was a tricky night time for us,” Smith mentioned. “I believed we regarded tentative at occasions. We did some good issues, however clearly not sufficient… I believed they suffocated us at occasions.”

The final time Utah met Arizona, it went down by solely three factors on the half and misplaced by 18. The ultimate outcome was by no means doubtful, however it was extra aggressive than most predicted. Thursday was nearer to the alternative.

Arizona used the primary half to construct a 20-point lead as Utah crumbled underneath a deluge of dimension and taking pictures. Kerr Kriisa, Arizona’s sophomore guard, hit seven first-half three-pointers en path to 21 factors. The entrance courtroom mixture of Azuikas Tubelis and Christian Koloko mixed for 34 factors.

If there was a second that embodied the sport, it was the final 10 seconds of the primary half. Utah guard Gabe Madsen hit a three-point with 5 seconds remaining. However earlier than the Utes might file into the locker room, Kriisa took two dribbles and knocked down a half-court shot. Utah, even when it had flashes of competitiveness, regarded outplayed and outmatched in each aspect of the sport.

“That’s only a good workforce,” Madsen mentioned. “Kriisa went on a bit run there by himself. That’s going to occur in opposition to a very good workforce. However clearly there’s a lot we might do higher.”

There have been some shiny spots for Utah. Madsen had 15 factors and David Jenkins added 14. Branden Carlson, who was coping with an ankle harm coming into the week, was efficient to start out the sport and completed 4-12 from the sphere and 1-for-4 from three-point vary.

However there’s little query this model of Utah was not the one Smith hoped to see, or had seen in Utah’s back-to-back wins in opposition to Stanford and Cal final week.

Marco Anthony, who was key in breaking Utah’s practically year-long street shedding streak, had extra missed free throws than made. He mustered solely two factors in 24 minutes. The workforce principally adopted his lead in unforced errors — lacking seven free throws and turning the ball over 14 occasions. Towards most groups that wouldn’t work, however in opposition to Arizona it means the deficit will flirt with 30.

Arizona leads the nation in tempo of play and, for probably the most half, every turnover led to a quick break dunk of some form. It’s why the Wildcats went on a 23-2 run to finish the primary half — effecitvely ending the sport —and all 5 starters have been in double-figures.

“We had some catastrophic turnovers,” Smith mentioned. “After they get out in transition, their spurtability is unbelievable. It’s just like the Nineteen Eighties Lakers.’

Finally, if Thursday was a take a look at of workforce’s malleability — like Smith talked about — it confirmed Utah has a methods to go. And Arizona — a program ranked within the prime three in KenPom, the NET rankings and the AP Ballot — is the one rising.

“They acquired all of it. You possibly can see their athleticism up and down the lineup. That’s the place we wish to go,” Smith mentioned. “However we clearly acquired a methods to go.”

‘They do it all’: No. 2 Arizona uses first-half run to overwhelm Utah in 20-point win

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — With 6:44 left within the first half, Utah took a 1-point lead towards the visiting No. 2 Arizona Wildcats.

That refined lead — the primary and just for the house Utes — was sufficient for Arizona to get going and switch the tide.

In a minute’s time, Arizona went on a 9-0 run on back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers as a part of a 26-5 run during the last six minutes of the primary half to take a 20-point lead into the halftime break.

The spectacular run was capped off on a deep buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Kerr Kriisa, who didn’t play within the first assembly this season between the 2 packages.

To make issues worse for Utah (11-17, 4-14 Pac-12), the workforce dedicated 5 of their 9 first-half turnovers within the last six minutes — lots of which had been careless — and propelled Arizona to straightforward transition buckets.

The run, which included a stifling protection from Arizona, and Utah’s turnovers was sufficient to maintain the Utes from difficult within the second half with such an enormous deficit towards top-of-the-line groups within the nation. Behind 23 factors from Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis, the Wildcats rolled to a simple 97-77 victory on the Huntsman Heart.

“Properly, clearly, a tricky evening for us,” Utah head coach Craig Smith stated. “I assumed we did some good issues, however actually not sufficient. You play a workforce like this, they’re ranked No. 2 within the nation for a cause; they do all of it.

“Everybody needs to speak about their offense, and deservedly so; nonetheless, they’re superb defensively. I imply, it is so exhausting to attain within the paint on these guys. You may see their athleticism up and down the lineup at each place, and it is simply actually, actually tough to attain. You are going to should make threes to should beat these guys.”

The Wildcats (25-2, 15-1 Pac-12) placed on a present on the highway, together with the standard “U-of-A” chants from the a number of followers in attendance. It is a program that is hit its stride because it prepares for a deep run within the NCAA Event in Tommy Lloyd’s first season because the workforce’s head coach.

If it wasn’t the new capturing from 3-point vary (12 of 28), it was the a number of spotlight dunks from many Arizona gamers that gave followers their cash’s value — even Dallas Mavericks 7-footer Boban Marjanović, who was in attendance Thursday evening, loved the present on the entrance row.

Kriisa had 21 factors, all of which had been 3-pointers on 10 makes an attempt, and completed with 10 rebounds and 10 assists to report a triple-double within the win. Kriisa was taken out of the sport with three minutes left and was one rebound in need of the mark, however was later inserted into the lineup to safe the triple-double. He grew to become the primary Arizona participant with a triple-double since Andre Iguodala in 2004.

“He is their spark plug,” Smith stated of Kriisa. “After we performed them the primary time, we did not have (Branden Carlson) they usually did not have him, and he, clearly, you’ll be able to see the emotion that he performs with and the power that he brings; and look what he does tonight.”

All three different starters for the Wildcats — Bennedict Mathurin, Dalen Terry and Christian Koloko — scored in double figures within the highway contest and mixed for 39 factors, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. Arizona shot 52% from the sector and a powerful 43% from 3-point vary, however most spectacular was its 24 assists on 37 made baskets Thursday evening.

All of it was simply an excessive amount of for Smith’s workforce to include for all 40 minutes of motion.

“They’re an amazing workforce,” Smith stated. “It is undoubtedly a professional workforce that may win all of it.”

The Wildcats began the second half very like it completed the primary and jumped out on a fast 9-0 run as Utah missed straightforward buckets across the rim. Utah fought again and obtained the deficit right down to 17 factors, however Arizona was an excessive amount of to deal with because the extra proficient workforce and pushed the result in as a lot as 28 factors earlier than easing off the gasoline down the stretch.

Utah’s Gabe Madsen led the workforce in scoring with 15 factors — all 3-pointers — and David Jenkins Jr. added 14 factors, six rebounds and three assists within the loss. Each Gach and Branden Carlson, who mixed for 14 of the workforce’s first 15 factors of the sport, completed with a mixed 23 factors.

Former Utes guard Pelle Larsson, who made his first return to Salt Lake Metropolis since transferring to Arizona within the offseason, was held scoreless within the first half on two shot makes an attempt, together with an airballed 3-pointer that obtained the followers loudly chanting “airball” each time he touched the ball.

Larsson completed the sport with 2 factors — a garbage-minutes rating — and added seven rebounds and two assists.


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