By Corinne Murdock |
The Arizona House passed a bill to prevent illegal immigrants from voting, HB2492, along party lines on Monday, 31-26. The bill would impact federal-only voters heavily because that class of voters isn’t required by federal law to provide proof of citizenship. Federal-only voters had a significant impact in the 2020 election. The main exception made in this legislation would be for those who submit forms produced by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
The bill would require county recorders to rely on local, federal, and state databases to discern whether the applicant is a citizen. Refusal to comply would qualify officials for a class six felony. In the event that an applicant is discovered to be here illegally, officials must notify applicants of their rejection and refer the case to both the county attorney and attorney general for further investigation. Lack of citizenship proof, however, would only require election officials to notify the applicant of their rejection and offer them time to respond with proof of citizenship. A floor amendment removed the 30-day deadline applicants would’ve had to abide by to provide proof of citizenship.
Valid, unexpired driver’s licenses or nonoperating ID numbers would suffice for proof of location requirements to establish residency.
County recorders must also work with the secretary of state to present a list of all individuals who registered to vote and haven’t provided satisfactory evidence of citizenship by Halloween of this year. At that point, the attorney general would have until the end of next March to determine each applicant’s citizenship status and submit a report to the secretary of state, senate president, and house speaker.
As AZ Free News reported, the sponsor of the bill, State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), explained in the House Government and Elections Committee last month that there were over 11,000 individuals who didn’t provide a Documentary Proof of Citizenship (DPOC) to vote in the 2020 election. By contrast, there were about 1,700 individuals who didn’t provide proof of citizenship in 2018.
HB2492 received significant opposition from the illegal immigrant activist community. Those who harassed and stalked Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) into an Arizona State University (ASU) bathroom over her refusal to support President Joe Biden’s reconciliation bill.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.