Arizona will require voters to prove citizenship, residency

The bill also requires anyone new to register to vote to provide proof of their address.

The legislator’s own lawyers say much of the measure is unconstitutional, directly contradicts a recent Supreme Court decision and will likely be thrown out in court. Still, voting attorneys worry the bill is an attempt to get back before the now more conservative Supreme Court.

“Election integrity means counting every legal vote and prohibiting any attempt to cast a vote illegally,” Ducey said in a letter explaining his decision to sign the bill.

Rep. Jake Hoffman, who co-developed the bill with the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the measure is about eliminating opportunities for fraud, although instances of non-citizen voting are extremely rare.

The exact impact is a matter of debate. Ducey, Hoffman and other supporters say it only affects the approximately 31,500 voters who have not shown proof of citizenship. Voting advocates say it is vague and could go much further, affecting hundreds of thousands of people who have not recently updated their voter registration or driver’s license.

“Arizona is on the run here,” said Jon Sherman, process director at the Fair Elections Center. “The provisions in this bill are nowhere to be found in the country.”

Arizona is the only state that requires voters to prove their citizenship when they register, a provision passed in a 2004 ballot measure known as Proposition 200. Voters can prove citizenship by providing a driver’s license or studbook number, or they may include a copy of a birth certificate, passport or naturalization documents. Voters who were already registered at that time were given grandfatherhood.

In violation of Proposition 200, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that Arizona may adopt its own state election eligibility criteria, but must accept a federal voter registration form for federal elections. The federal form requires voters to testify that they are citizens of the state under penalty of perjury, but unlike the state form, it does not require them to provide documentary evidence. The state has unsuccessfully tried to change the federal form.

The ruling created a class of voters who can only vote for the president, the US House and the US Senate, known as “federal voters only.” There are currently 31,500 people registered that way, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.

There is no evidence that the existence of federal voters alone has enabled non-citizens to vote illegally, but Republican skeptics have nonetheless worked aggressively to crack down.

The bill would prohibit federal voters from voting by mail or voting for the president. It would require state election officials to compare registration information with various government databases.

The bill also requires people to include proof of their address with new voter registrations. Election officials say that’s complicated and unnecessary because addresses are verified at the time of voting. Voting advocates say it will make registration driving much more complicated, especially among people who don’t have a driver’s license or ID with an up-to-date Arizona address, such as college students, Native Americans, and seniors who no longer drive.

Adding a further complication, the bill would go into effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session, which will likely fall between the primary and general elections. Affected voters would be able to legally vote in the Aug. 2 primaries, would be notified that their registration was at risk of being canceled if they failed to prove their citizenship, and they would have until Oct. 11 to resolve the issue or vote. chance to vote in the general election.

Republican supporters say they plan to pass another bill that will delay the start until after the 2022 election, but nothing has been tabled yet.

Sam Almy, a data analyst who consults for Democratic campaigns, said his analysis of voter registration records found just under 220,000 voters who had not updated their registrations since 2004, when Proposition 200 was passed. The group leans heavily toward registered Republicans, the elderly, and those who vote consistently.

Of those affected, 71% voted in all of the last three general elections. Forty-five percent are registered Republicans, 36% are Democrats, and the rest are independents. Half are at least 65 years old and almost 90% are at least 50 years old.

The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division has verified that applicants for driver’s licenses and state identification cards have been legal in the United States since 1996, but does not verify that they are citizens of the United States, said Bill Lamoreaux, an agency spokesperson. About 192,000 people with state licenses or IDs were issued before 1996, he said.

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