By Corinne Murdock |
With the help of Hillary Clinton’s Russiagate hoax lawyer Marc Elias, the Phoenix-based Latino activist organization Mi Familia Vota filed a lawsuit Thursday to challenge Arizona’s newly-enacted law requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration. Republican legislators and Governor Doug Ducey have reiterated that the legislation, HB2492, doesn’t apply retroactively to Arizonans who registered to vote without providing proof of citizenship before 2004, meaning those individuals won’t have to re-register to vote. There’s contention to that provision in question: opponents of the law argue that the new definition of a qualified voter requires all registered voters to have submitted proof of citizenship.
The complaint filed by Elias on behalf of Mi Familia Vota alleged that HB2492 was “confusing, discriminatory, and unconstitutional,” as well as “voter suppression,” claiming it would prevent those already registered without proof of citizenship from voting. The complaint also claimed that HB2492 shared the same faults as Proposition 200, a voter-approved initiative in 2004 that required county recorders to reject any application for registration that didn’t include satisfactory evidence of U.S. citizenship.
The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) struck down Proposition 200, ruling that it was a violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) which doesn’t require proof of citizenship when registering to vote. However, as Arizona Free Enterprise Deputy Director Greg Blackie explained during the State Senate hearing of the bill, this law was designed to fall within the bounds of SCOTUS precedent because the NVRA doesn’t prohibit states from denying registration if there’s proof that the applicant isn’t a citizen.
Mi Familia Vota’s complaint further insisted that the new law would undermine early mail-in voting, due to the fact that it would negate the ease of voting provided by that method. The complaint also claimed that around 200,000 registered voters would have to locate and present proof of citizenship in order to vote. For that claim, the complaint cited an opinion piece in the Arizona Republic, which didn’t make a definitive claim that those voters would be scrutinized.
“If you registered to vote in Arizona before 2004 and never provided proof that you’re a U.S. citizen — a number that includes close to 200,000 voters who got their driver’s licenses before October 1, 1996, in the days before proof of citizenship was required — you, too, could be suspect. In the eyes of the GOP-run Arizona legislature, that is,” stated the article. [emphasis added]
Setting aside the potential difficulties presented to voters, the complaint argued that Arizona had no compelling interest to justify requiring proof of citizenship of its voters. It claimed that the lack of proof of non-citizens who’d voted proved that point.
In terms of requested relief, the complaint asked the court to find the new law to be in violation of the rights to vote and due process as outlined in the First and Fourteenth Amendments.