Arizona and Kansas Exploit Supreme Court Loophole

    October 12, 2013
    Bennett Rieser
    Comments are off for this post.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law that required voters to present proof of their United States citizenship in order to vote in local as well as federal elections.

The New York Times reports that Arizona has agreed to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling, even though the state has planned to join Kansas in the utilization of a loophole the Court left open. In their decision, the Justices indicated that although Congress’ power over federal elections was paramount, the same power does not apply to state elections.

Kansas and Arizona are, together, suing the Election Assistance Commission under the argument that federal voter registrations should demand proof of citizenship. Arizona attorney general Tom Horne said of the demands for proof that “If you require evidence of citizenship, it helps prevent people who are not citizens from voting, and I simply don’t see a problem with that.”

On Monday, Horne told Arizona election officials that separate voter rolls should be created for those who filled out the state form and those who filled out the federal form In what would be called a “two-tiered system.” A separate ballot would be used for federal elections where citizenship proof is not required, while state elections would require that proof. Democrats had hoped the increased turnout would continue a push to retake local offices from Republicans, who have been the main policy-makers in recent years.

The executive director of Promise Arizona in Action, Petra Falcón, said of the new system that “It’s another veiled attempt at discouraging young voters, low-income voters, Latino voters from entering the electoral process.” On the other side, spokesperson Matt Roberts, speaking for Arizona secretary of state Ken Bennett, said “We have a hard enough time already to get people to go to the right voting place… The last thing any poll worker wants is to have to tell someone who might be voting for the first time why they can’t vote for governor.” Roberts added that Bennett is a proponent of requiring proof of citizenship for all elections.

This development is the latest in the political jousting match over voting rights since the 2012 presidential election. Where Democrats would seek to make voting easier and increase turnout among the minority groups that make up their base, Republicans would require proof of citizenship.

If you want to read the full Times story, you can find it here.

[Image via an ABC News YouTube report from last year about the illegal immigration problem]
  • http://yahoo gina

    I think the judges have forgot that this is America and that many people have died to keep this land free and to up hold our constitution and if your not a American then you should not have a vote, There is no country anywhere in the world that would let you vote if you were not a citizen, so we need to start with removing these judges that think anyone from anywhere can vote, wake up America while we still have time to stop this craziness.

  • Henry Yarborough

    What you fail to realize is that these types of rules tend to disenfranchise the poor. Sometimes deliberately so. In fact considering that the states attempting these tactics are usually red states I might think these are also deliberate attempts to keep the poor from voting. In this and other countries, I see a lot of manipulative behavior, and outright lies (which are easily debunked). What’s surprising to me is that usually the people that accept the rhetoric won’t do the research themselves. They’re deliberately ignorant.

    I see a lot of people walking or riding a bicycle lately. Not because they want to, but because they have to. I expect to see quite a few more in the near future. The way things are going, you and I may be next.

    • E R

      When you look just a few miles to the south, Mexico REQUIRES that everyone voting in an election MUST show proof of a government, non-counterfeitable, apprved ID Card. And many Mexicans come to the US because of job opportunities. If they are so poor in Mexico that they want to come to the land of freebies, why can’t we require that every voter in the US have a Government approved, non-counterfeitable ID card as wel? Please don’t try to play the ‘disenfranchise the poor’ card without looking into the facts.