Court rules Arizona can’t keep proof of citizenship requirement

The U.S. Supreme Court refused the state of Arizona’s request to keep its proof-of-citizenship requirement for people registering to vote in effect while it appeals a ruling that found the mandate conflicts with federal law. The full court rejected Arizona’s request yesterday.

In April, a lower court ruled that a federal voting law trumps Arizona’s requirement.

A Supreme Court justice had granted the state’s request earlier this month, to let the requirement remain in effect while Arizona appeals the April decision.

The court fight stems back to 2004 when Arizona voters passed Proposition 200 which would help ensure that only US citizens vote in elections.

Those registering to vote in Arizona are required to prove citizenship by providing one of the following documents: a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, tribal identification or naturalization certification number. Voters seeking to register online must provide a driver’s license number, where eligibility is verified through Arizona’s motor vehicle system.

“Today’s disappointing action by the Supreme Court seemingly flies in the face of the text of the NVRA which uses the term ‘citizen’ repeatedly,” said Secretary of State Ken Bennett. “Arizonans clearly believe that people should provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote.”

“There isn’t a corner of this state where people are not concerned with voter fraud and opposition to the simple act of providing proof that you are legally eligible to participate in our elections is hard to fathom. We look forward to the day when we’ll make our case for fair and fraud free elections to the Supreme Court. Until then, we await the mandate from the 9th Circuit and will be working with the 15 counties as to a practical application.”

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