United States District Court, D. Arizona
Democratic National Committee, DSCC, and Arizona Democratic Party, Plaintiffs,
Arizona Secretary of State's Office, Michele Reagan, and Mark Brnovich, Defendants.
Douglas L. Rayes United States District Judge.
Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial
Campaign Committee, and the Arizona Democratic Party-allege
that two aspects of Arizona's election regime violate
§ 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the First,
Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution. First, Plaintiffs challenge Arizona's
prohibition on counting out-of-precinct (OOP) provisional
ballots, which derives from the collective effect of A.R.S.
§§ 16-122, -135, -584, and related rules prescribed
by the Arizona Secretary of State in the Election Procedures
Manual. Second, Plaintiffs challenge H.B. 2023, codified at
A.R.S. § 16-1005(H)-(I), which makes it a felony for
third parties to collect early ballots from voters unless the
collector falls into a statutorily enumerated exception.
Plaintiffs seek a declaration that the challenged election
rules are unlawful, and an order enjoining the Arizona
Secretary of State's Office, Arizona Secretary of State
Michele Reagan, and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich
(State Defendants) from:
a. Implementing, enforcing, or giving any effect to A.R.S.
§ 16-122, § 16-135, or § 16-584 to the extent
that they require Defendants to reject provisional ballots in
their entirety solely because they were cast in the wrong
b. Requiring Defendants to count OOP ballots for races for
which the voter was otherwise eligible to cast a vote;
c. Implementing, enforcing, or giving any effect to H.B.
(Doc. 233 at 41-42.)
State Defendants have moved to dismiss the Second Amended
Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(7) and 19. (Doc. 245.) They contend that Plaintiffs
have failed to name necessary and indispensable parties to
this action, and that they have named unnecessary defendants
for each of their claims. The motion is fully briefed and
neither party requested oral argument. For the following
reasons, the Court finds that the absent parties identified
by the State Defendants are not necessary or indispensable,
and therefore denies that portion of the motion to dismiss.
By stipulation of the parties, however, the Court grants the
State Defendants' request to dismiss the Secretary of
State's Office because its presence is unnecessary.
governs the circumstances in which an absent party must be
joined to an action:
(a) Persons Required to Be Joined if Feasible.
(1) Required Party. A person who is subject to
service of process and whose joinder will not deprive the
court of subject-matter jurisdiction must be joined as a
(A) in that person's absence, the court cannot accord
complete relief among existing parties; or
(B) that person claims an interest relating to the subject of
the action and is so situated that disposing of the action in
the person's absence may:
(i) as a practical matter impair or impede the person's
ability to protect the interest; or
(ii) leave an existing party subject to a substantial risk of
incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent
obligations because of the interest.
(2) Joinder by Court Order. If a person has not been
joined as required, the court must order that the person be
made a party. A person who refuses to join as a plaintiff may
be made either a defendant ...