This past Tuesday, the Biden administration officially slammed Arizona with a lawsuit about the new state law that requires voters to provide proof of their citizenship before being able to cast their ballot for a presidential election.
Doug Ducey, the Governor of Arizona, signed into law, back in March, a bill that mandates that voters show documentary proof of citizenship in order to vote in a federal election or vote by mail. The Department of Justice issued challenged the law in court, arguing that the mandate is unconstitutional and redundant.
“House Bill 2492’s onerous documentary proof of citizenship requirement for certain federal elections constitutes a textbook violation of the National Voter Registration Act,” stated Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, via a release.
“Arizona has passed a law that turns the clock back on progress by imposing unlawful and unnecessary requirements that would block eligible voters from the registration rolls for certain federal elections,” added Clarke.
The Civil Rights Division of the DOJ is the one heading up the lawsuit. Said lawsuit makes the argument that the law in Arizona is a direct violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which requires, before participating in a federal election, that voters fill out a federal form. While the form does not itself need documented proof of citizenship, it does, under penalty of perjury, if the person is a U.S. citizen.
Mark Brnovich, the Attorney General for Arizona, issued a response to the lawsuit via a social media post: “It’s another round of Brnovich v. Biden as his DOJ continues its attempts to undermine our election integrity laws. I will see you in court. Again.”
Ducey signed his name to House Bill 2492 back on March 30th, labeling the bill as a “balanced approach that honors Arizona’s history of making voting accessible without sacrificing security in our elections.” The law will go into effect officially as of January 2023.
“Federal law prohibits non-citizens from voting in federal elections. Arizona law prohibits non-citizens from voting for all state and local offices, and requires proof of citizenship,” stated Ducey via a letter. “H.B. 2492 provides clarity to Arizona law on how officials process federal form voter registration applications that lack evidence of citizenship.”
As stated by Ducey’s office, over 11,600 federal-only voters went out to cast a ballot for the 2020 election without the need for them to prove their citizenship, as is required by the state elections.
Arizona has had a requirement for proof of citizenship in order to vote in all federal elections before, though that law was struck down via action from the Supreme Court. back in 2004, the residents of Arizona voted in favor of proposition 200, which was a section that would require all Arizona voters to show proof of citizenship before being able to cast their ballot.
In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court shut down the law. In the opinion that followed, which was penned by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, it was claimed that the measure concerning the ballot measure stood in violation of the NVRA and blocked Arizona “from requiring a Federal Form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself.”