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Court ruling allows Arizona Democrats to challenge law on ballot placement

The Democratic Party is now entitled to challenge a state law that it contends gives Republicans an edge in elections, thanks to a Friday court ruling.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Democrats can challenge the system that determines which party is listed first on ballots.

In the current system, candidates are listed in each county based on the results of the previous gubernatorial election, meaning 11 of 15 counties will have Republicans listed first this year.

The court says the set of rules, which was established in 1979 by a Republican-dominated state Legislature, could provide an advantage to the party listed first.

The ruling sends the case to the U.S. District Court, where Judge Diane Humetewa previously threw the case out, citing that federal courts should not weigh in on the matter.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.