A conservative majority of justices ruled that Republican-backed Arizona election laws could go into effect despite a lower-court decision that the state measures disproportionately affected racial minorities.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Republican-backed voting restrictions in Arizona, a defeat for voting rights advocates and Democrats who challenged the measures.
The decision comes as Republican-led states launch a wave of voting curbs in the wake of former president Donald Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was marred by fraud.
"If you count the legal votes, I easily win." Arizona lawmakers enacted new rules outlawing third parties - other than immediate family - from collecting and delivering early ballots and restricting where absentee ballots may be cast.
Community groups often organize ballot drives for voters who might find it difficult to vote on election day, or lack transportation to a polling site.
A lower court found the Arizona laws disproportionately burdened Black, Latino and Native American voters.
But in a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court's conservative justices held that the restrictions did not violate the 1965 voting rights act which prohibits racial discrimination in voting.
The court's three liberal justices dissented from the decision.
Democrats have accused Republicans at the state level of enacting voter-suppression measures to make it harder for Democratic-leaning racial minorities to cast ballots.
Many Republicans have justified new restrictions as a means to reduce voter fraud, a phenomenon that election experts have said is rare in the United States.