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DOJ Sues Arizona For Requiring Proof of Citizenship to Vote

July 6, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it sued the state over its new law requiring individuals to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote. The law, HB2492, wouldn’t take effect until next January. 

DOJ Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke called Arizona’s proof of citizenship rule an “onerous” and “unnecessary” requirement. 

The DOJ contended in its press release that Arizona’s law violates Section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act. The NVRA specifies that individuals aren’t required to show proof of citizenship for the federal voter registration form enabling them to vote in federal elections, just to attest that they have one: these are called “federal-only voters.” 

In its lawsuit, the DOJ rationalized that the federal voter registration form doesn’t require anything beyond an attestation because documentation “is not necessary to prove citizenship.”

The DOJ also cited the 2013 Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, which determined that Arizona couldn’t require proof of citizenship for those registering to vote using the federal form. 

As for the alleged Civil Rights Act violation, the DOJ argued that Arizona officials couldn’t deny individuals the right to vote if they willfully or mistakenly didn’t check a box on the voter registration form confirming that they’re a U.S. citizen. The checkmark serves as an attestation of citizenship, similar to the one outlined by the NVRA.

With this lawsuit, the Biden administration effectively declared their allegiance with other establishment Democrats suing Arizona over the citizenship requirement. At the helm of lawsuits from progressive activist organizations is Marc Elias, a favored lawyer within the Democratic Party who was at the center of the 2016 Russiagate hoax. 

Elias celebrated the DOJ’s action.

HB2492 not only requires proof of citizenship when registering to vote. It also requires election officials to cross-check applicants’ citizenship through government databases. On top of local and state databases, these include databases within the Department of Transportation concerning Arizona IDs and driver licenses, the Social Security Administration, the Citizenship and Immigration Services Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program, and the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems Electronic Verification of Vital Events System.

Over 11,000 voters in the 2020 election didn’t provide proof of citizenship. In 2018, that number was about 1,700. 

Attorney General Mark Brnovich pledged to fight the Biden administration to uphold the law. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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