The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has struck down Arizona’s 2004 voter-approved requirement that residents show proof of citizenship when they register to vote — at least on federal registration forms. The state can still require proof from voters submitting a state registration form, which is typically the form voters get from their county recorder’s offices and through the Motor Vehicle Division’s website. The 11-judge “en banc” appeals-court panel on Tuesday upheld the portion of the law requiring voters to show identification at the polls. Attorney General Tom Horne said he would appeal the portion of the law the panel overturned to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Sandra S. Ikuta, who wrote in the majority opinion, said the Constitution requires the court to “safeguard” certain federal powers, including regulating federal elections. Among its provisions, the National Voter Registration Act creates a standard federal registration form that all states must accept. It requires applicants to sign a statement that they are citizens, but it does not require them to show proof.
Proposition 200 required applicants, regardless of whether they are submitting a federal voter-registration form or a state one, to provide a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, tribal identification or naturalization-certification number. Horne, who defended Prop. 200 in court, said he wasn’t surprised by the decision. “We always expected the U.S. Supreme Court to have to decide this one,” Horne said, adding that he expects the high court to uphold the entire law. He said Arizonans have a right to a valid election process: “If people think their vote is diluted by illegal aliens voting, that suppresses the turnout.”
Full Article: Ruling on Arizona voter requirement mixed.