The Supreme Court ruled Monday against an Arizona ballot measure requiring new voters to present proof of citizenship before being added to the voting rolls — but the justices dodged the question of whether states could ever impose such a requirement without federal approval.
The justices ruled, 7-2, that Arizona’s effort to establish proof-of-citizenship requirements for new voters ran afoul of the so-called “motor voter” law Congress passed in 1993. That law, the National Voter Registration Act, allows for mail-in voter registration on a federal form that allows applicants simply to swear that they are U.S. citizens eligible to vote.
Arizona voters created the proof-of-citizenship requirement as part of Proposition 200, a ballot measure passed in 2004, 56 percent to 44 percent.
It’s important to note that this isn’t necessarily the end of discussion on the matter, as today’s Supreme Court ruling essentially offers Arizona another route through which the state could attempt to implement the new regulation. Still, future passage seems unlikely given that the state of Arizona would need approval from the federal government to implement the proof-of-citizenship requirement.
June 17, 2013 // 15:21 // 5 months ago