Arizona Voting Laws That Require Proof Of Citizenship Upheld

A federal judge ruled in favor of new legislation that would require proof of U.S. citizenship for registered voters’ votes to be counted in Arizona. In a ruling on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that it is not discriminatory for Arizona to require counties to verify the citizenship status of registered voters.

According to the judge, the legislation to prevent voter fraud and limit voting to people who are eligible to vote.

“Considering the evidence as a whole, the court concludes that Arizona’s interests in preventing non-citizens from voting and promoting public confidence in Arizona’s elections outweighs the limited burden voters might encounter when required to provide (documentary proof of citizenship),” Bolton wrote in her ruling.

One of the new laws is a requirement that state election officials confirm registration information by cross-checking them with various government databases. Anyone not found is to be reported to prosecutors.

Despite the accusations of discrimination, Bolton stated in her ruling that “The court finds that though it may occur, non-citizens voting in Arizona is quite rare, and non-citizen voter fraud in Arizona is rarer still. But while the voting laws are not likely to meaningfully reduce possible non-citizen voting in Arizona, they could help to prevent non-citizens from registering or voting.”

She added that the plaintiffs did not provide any evidence that shows that lawmakers are trying to suppress voter registrations with the laws.

The measures the plaintiffs took issue with were passed on party-line votes and signed into law in 2022 by then-Gov. Doug Ducey.

“Election integrity means counting every lawful vote and prohibiting any attempt to illegally cast a vote,” the Republican governor wrote in March 2022 when he signed the legislation.

However, in July, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the legislation, which was set to take effect in January, 2023.

At the time, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said the law “constitutes a textbook violation of the National Voter Registration Act” with provisions such as “requiring election officials to reject voter registration forms based on errors or omissions that are not material to establishing a voter’s eligibility to cast a ballot.”

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