Arizona election regulation: Justice Division sues regulation requiring proof of citizenship

Law that Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed in Marchwill take effect in January.

According to the lawsuit, the Supreme Court rejected Arizona’s previous attempt to ask for proof of citizenship in 2013, and the Justice Department argued that the new law violated the National Voter Registration Act. because it requires proof of citizenship in federal elections.

Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, said: “Arizona has passed a law that reverses progress by imposing illegal and unnecessary requests to block law enforcement agencies. eligible voters to participate in certain federal elections” statement.

“The Department of Justice will continue to use every tool available to protect the right to vote of all Americans and ensure that their voices are heard,” she added.

Arizona is just one of those important battlefield states where Republican legislators have pushed for changes to voting procedures, something that has alarmed voting rights advocates. Democrats have repeatedly warned that laws like the one in Arizona could raise unwarranted questions about the outcome of free and fair elections and erode voter confidence.

State law requires Arizona residents who wish to register to vote in state elections to provide proof of citizenship. But the law, passed by the state legislature controlled by the GOP, extends those requirements to residents who vote only in federal elections.

Currently, individuals using federal voter registration forms are required to testify under penalty of perjury that they are citizens, but proof is not required.

Under the new law, election officials will need to verify the citizenship status of any voter who submits a federal voter registration form without proper proof. And any county recorder or election official who fails to attempt to verify citizenship status and knowingly registers voters without proper documentation could be charged with a felony.

The state attorney general can also investigate any voter without proof of citizenship and can prosecute noncitizens who are registered to vote.

While Ducey said the law “provides clarity” on how officials handle voter registration applications “lacks proof of citizenship,” critics say it could harm voters. – like students, seniors and people in tribal communities – who may not have a valid state driver’s license or identification.

This story was updated with additional information on Tuesday.

Kelly Mena contributed to this report.

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