9th Circuit Tosses AZ Voter Proof of Citizenship Requirement
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down Arizona's Prop 200, requiring voters to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote and proof of identification when casting ballots. The opinion is here:
Proposition 200 requires prospective voters in Arizona to present documentary proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, ... and requires registered voters to present proof of identification in order to cast a ballot at the polls.... This appeal raises the questions whether Proposition 200 violates the Voting Rights Act § 2, 42 U.S.C. § 1973, is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth or Twenty-fourth Amendments of the Constitution, or is void as inconsistent with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)....
We hold that the NVRA supersedes Proposition 200’s voter registration procedures, and that Arizona’s documentary proof of citizenship requirement for registration is therefore invalid.
The Court upheld the portion requiring voters to show identification when casting ballots. The likely effect: [More..]
Opponents of the 6-year-old law incorporating both provisions — designed to prevent illegal immigrants from voting — said the ruling would likely lead to thousands being turned away at next Tuesday’s elections for lacking the required identification records.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ invalidation of requirements for proof of citizenship comes too late for any prospective new voters who were barred from registering before the deadline for the Nov. 2 U.S. mid-term elections.
One of the groups challenging the law, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, estimates that since 2004 when the law was enacted, 30,000 Arizona residents were prevented from registering to vote by the requirement.
Georgia is the only other state with a similar law:
Georgia checks its voter registration rolls against its motor vehicle database. Those whose vehicle records indicate they are not citizens are allowed to register to vote, but their ballot will be discounted unless they show proof of citizenship, he said. That system is still undergoing preliminary federal review before it can take full effect.
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