The Arizona voting wars continue. This week, a federal appeals court ruled that Arizona’s photo ID requirement was not a “poll tax” or racially discriminatory, which was a defeat for voting rights activists who offered evidence that certain voting blocks—particularly people of color—disproportionately lack photo ID.
But the other half of the ruling over Proposition 200 addressing whether Arizona could require documented proof of citizenship when registering to vote—if that proof did not already exist in state databases—left voting rights activists only slightly cheered.
Arizona’s Proposition 200 was the nation’s first state law to require documented proof of citizenship before registering to vote—whether a would-be voter used the national voter registration application, found in all post offices; or a state voter registration form that the state gave out at state offices and is used for its online registration.
The Ninth Circuit ruling only affected the federal voter registration form, saying Arizona overreached by imposing additional proof-of-citizenship conditions. It ordered Arizona election officials to tell local registrars to accept that application, where people attest to citizenship by signing their name under penalty of perjury. READ MORE