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At issue in the Supreme Court today was whether restrictive voting laws in Arizona violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act. And a Republican Party lawyer defending the restrictions couldn’t have made his intentions clearer.

Tuesday’s oral arguments in two cases—Brnovich v. DNC and Arizona Republican Party v. DNC—concerned the legality of “ballot harvesting,” a practice in which community activists collect ballots to boost voter turnout. The arguments also discussed an Arizona law that disqualified ballots cast in the wrong precinct. There’s no evidence of the voting fraud that these laws purport to limit, and voting rights activists say that the laws disproportionately limit Black, Latino, and Native American voters’ access to the polls.

So Justice Amy Coney Barrett had a simple question for the lawyer defending the GOP-backed laws: “What’s the interest of the Arizona RNC here in keeping, say, the out-of-precinct ballot disqualification rules on the books?”

“Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats,” the lawyer, Michael Carvin, responded. “Politics is a zero-sum game.”

Republicans’ intentions couldn’t be any clearer. It’s not about reducing fraud. It’s about keeping minorities from voting for Democrats.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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