Arizona Appeals Court Upholds Voter ID Requirement
Judge strikes down requirement that voter registrants show proof of citizenship
On Tuesday, an appeals court upheld Arizona’s requirement that voters show approved forms of identification at the polls, Reuters reports.
However, citing the Voting Rights Act, the judge struck down a requirement that those registering to vote in federal elections show proof of citizenship.
While agreeing that Arizona was within its rights to require identification at voting places, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded the national Voting Rights Act superseded the law's requirement that anyone registering to vote in a federal election show "satisfactory evidence" of U.S. citizenship.
The judge’s decision on the Arizona’s voter registration requirement is particularly noteworthy, considering a federal appeals court last summer blocked the state’s controversial immigration law from going into effect. The statute would have authorized the state’s law enforcement agencies to check the immigration status of individuals in lawful stops or arrest, which critics say essentially sanctions racial profiling.
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Arizona, however, does not have the country’s strictest voter ID requirements, which have come under scrutiny ahead of the 2012 presidential election.
Of the 31 states currently requiring some form of ID at polling places, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Texas have the strictest laws. There are 19 states that do not require ID at police places.
In March, the Justice Department blocked Texas’ law from taking effect, and a Wisconsin judge ruled that state’s law unconstitutional.