According to the lawsuit, the Supreme Court rejected Arizona’s previous attempt to require proof of citizenship in 2013, and the Justice Department argues that the new law violates the National Voter Registration Act because it requires documented proof of citizenship in federal elections.
“Arizona has passed a law that turns back the clock on progress by imposing illegal and unnecessary requirements that keep eligible voters off the registration rolls for certain federal elections,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clark of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. A statement.
“The Justice Department will continue to use every tool available to protect the right of all Americans to vote and ensure their voices are heard,” he added.
State law already requires Arizona residents who want to register to vote in state elections to provide proof of citizenship. But the law, passed by the GOP-controlled state legislature, extends those requirements to residents who vote only in federal elections.
Currently, individuals using a federal voter registration form must certify under perjury that they are a citizen, but proof is not required.
Under the new law, election officials must verify the citizenship status of any voter who submits a federal voter registration form without proper proof. Any county recorder or election officer who does not attempt to verify citizenship status and who knowingly registers voters without proper documentation can be charged.
While Ducey said the law “clarifies” how officials process voter registration applications “without proof of citizenship,” critics say it could hurt voters — students, seniors and those in indigenous communities. Valid state driver’s license or identification card.
This story was updated Tuesday with additional information.
Kelly Mena contributed to this report.