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Judge restricts Arizona ballot watchers


Per the order, members and associates of the group Clean Elections USA have been barred from coming within 75 feet of a ballot drop box or a building housing a drop box; speaking or yelling at people within 75 feet of the drop box (unless yelled at first); or open-carrying firearms or wearing body armor within 250 feet of drop boxes.

Some individuals also must post messages on their Truth Social pages correcting past statements, which suggested it’s always illegal to drop off multiple ballots. The judge ordered them to post: “It is not always illegal to deposit multiple ballots in a ballot drop box. It is legal to deposit the ballot of a family member, household member or person for whom you are the caregiver.”

The group is also banned from taking or distributing any images or personal information about people returning ballots to drop boxes, a part of the order they contested. The group also contested an order that they must stop “making false statements” about Arizona’s ballot abuse law.

The order will be in effect for two weeks, starting immediately, Liburdi said.

Since early voting started, ballot-watchers in Arizona reportedly took photos or videos of people dropping off ballots, or followed voters. Some were masked or armed or both, the Associated Press has reported.

The Justice Department on Monday stepped into the lawsuit, and said the reports raised serious concerns about voter intimidation.

Conspiracies about people stuffing ballot boxes were fueled in part by the largely discredited Dinesh D’Souza film “2000 Mules,” which falsely claimed that a network of Democrats have conspired to deliver ballots to drop boxes.

The attorney for Clean Elections USA, the group named in the order, has argued a broad restraining order is unconstitutional.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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