The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Arizona challenging its recently enacted voting law set to take effect in January 2023 that requires proof of citizenship in order to vote in presidential elections, according to a press release from Joe Biden’s Justice Department.
Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill into law on March 30. “Election integrity means counting every lawful vote and prohibiting any attempt to illegally cast a vote,” Ducey wrote in a letter at the time he signed the bill. “H.B. 2492 is a balanced approach that honors Arizona’s history of making voting accessible without sacrificing security in our elections.”
The United States’ complaint challenges provisions of House Bill 2492 under Section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) and Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“House Bill 2492’s onerous documentary proof of citizenship requirement for certain federal elections constitutes a textbook violation of the National Voter Registration Act,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “For nearly three decades, the National Voter Registration Act has helped to move states in the right direction by eliminating unnecessary requirements that have historically made it harder for eligible voters to access the registration rolls.”
“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. The Justice Department will continue to use every available tool to protect all Americans’ right to vote and to ensure that their voices are heard,” Clarks said in a statement.
The United States’ complaint contends that House Bill 2492 violates the NVRA by requiring that applicants produce documentary proof of citizenship before they can vote in presidential elections or vote by mail in any federal election when they register to vote using the uniform federal registration form created by the NVRA, the DOJ’s press release states.
The Justice Department claims, “This requirement flouts the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Ariz., Inc., 570 U.S. 1 (2013), which rejected an earlier attempt by Arizona to impose a similar documentary proof of citizenship mandate on applicants seeking to vote in federal elections.”
The Justice Department also claims the new law with violate the Civil Rights Act “by requiring election officials to reject voter registration forms based on errors or omissions that are not material to establishing a voter’s eligibility to cast a ballot.”
The United States’ complaint asks the court to prohibit Arizona from enforcing the provisions of House Bill 2492 that violate the NVRA and the Civil Rights Act.
DOJ’s Tuesday press release:
Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against the State of Arizona Over Restrictive Voter Registration Requirementshttps://t.co/nIzluHFZVj
— DOJ Civil Rights (@CivilRights) July 5, 2022
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