More than 10,000 registered voters in Arizona will cast ballots on Dec. 6 in the state’s next congressional election, and the stakes are high.
If all goes according to plan, Arizona’s Senate will be split 48-48.
Democrats hold the majority and have the power to pass any amendments to the state constitution, but Republicans control the chamber.
If Republicans retain control of the Senate, they will be able to override any legal changes the state makes to the voting system.
Democrats are hoping to take control of both chambers, but that will take some of the momentum from the 2016 presidential election.
Democrats hold 52 seats in the U.S. Senate, while Republicans have 52 seats.
Republicans hold a 52-48 advantage in the Senate.
If Democrats take control in November, that would give Republicans control of two chambers in the nation’s capital.
Republicans control the House of Representatives and the presidency.
The 2016 presidential race had a significant impact on Arizona’s election, as Republican nominee Donald Trump swept the state and flipped the state to Democratic control.
But Arizona was one of the first states to implement voter ID laws in 2016, and those laws were challenged in court and eventually struck down by the Supreme Court.
In response, the state legislature passed a law in 2018 that required voters to show proof of citizenship, an option not offered in Arizona until the law was struck down.
But the law wasn’t immediately enforced, and voters did not show up to the polls on Election Day.
On Monday, the Department of Justice announced a sweeping new lawsuit challenging the Arizona law, alleging that Arizona’s new voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In a statement Monday, Democratic Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said that Republicans are using the election to “take away our rights, deny the right to vote, and disenfranchise millions of Americans.”
The lawsuit was filed Monday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arizona, according to the Associated Press.
The state’s attorney general is also seeking to stop the implementation of the new voter identification law, the AP reports.
The new lawsuit was first filed by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which filed the suit on behalf of Arizona voters.
“This is an attempt by the Republican legislature to use an election that was so close to the vote to suppress minority and disenfranchised voters,” Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-Ariz.), the committee’s chairman, told the AP.