Arizona to Require Proof of Citizenship to Vote in State Elections

Arizona, long at odds with Washington over immigration policy, plans to require voters to show proof of citizenship to vote in state polls, even after it lost a high court battle to demand such documentation for federal elections.
October 8, 2013

Arizona, long at odds with Washington over immigration policy, plans to require voters to show proof of citizenship to vote in state polls, even after it lost a high court battle to demand such documentation for federal elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2 in June to strike down a voter-registration law designed to stop illegal immigrants from casting ballots in the state, which borders Mexico and has been at the heart of the U.S. national battle over immigration.

The law had required would-be voters to show proof of citizenship both when registering to vote and when casting a ballot, but the court ruled that the measure was trumped by federal law.

On Monday, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne spelled out the new policy in an opinion issued in response to a request from Secretary of State Ken Bennett, seeking clarification in light of the top court's ruling.

"Those who registered to vote using the federal form, which does not require evidence of citizenship, should not vote in state elections or sign petitions," Horne, a Republican, concluded in the 16-page opinion.

But he said the rules outlined in the Arizona voter registration measure, Proposition 200, were still valid for local elections.

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