Justice Department sues Arizona over election law that requires proof of citizenship to vote federally

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People line up to vote at the Scottsdale Plaza shopping center in Arizona.

Photo: OLIVIER TOURON/AFP/Getty Images

The The United States Department of Justice wants to legally block a recently approved law in Arizona that requires proof of citizenship to vote in some federal elections.

The Justice Department announced it filed the lawsuit Tuesday. to stop legislation Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law in March and is supposed to go into effect early next year.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said that Arizona law is a “textbook violation” of the National Registration Act which requires each state to establish voter registration procedures for federal elections.

“For nearly three decades, the National Voter Registration Act has helped move states in the right direction by eliminating unnecessary requirements that have historically made it difficult for eligible voters to access registration rolls,” Clarke said in a statement. press.

“Arizona has passed a law that rolls back progress by imposing illegal and unnecessary requirements that would block eligible voters from registration rolls for certain federal elections.

“The Justice Department will continue to use every tool available to protect the right to vote for all Americans and ensure their voices are heard.”

Arizona wants to require applicants to show documents proving they are citizens before they can vote in presidential elections or vote by mail in any federal election when applicants use uniform federal registration.

The Justice Department argued that the new law ignored a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that rejected an earlier attempt by Arizona from 2005 to impose a similar documentary proof of citizenship on residents who want to vote in federal elections.

The Justice Department also argued that the law violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it forces election officials to reject voter registration forms that have minor errors.

Clarke sent a letter on June 27, uploaded by Fox News Digital, to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, threatening litigation but saying the Justice Department hopes to resolve the issue “amicably and avoid prolonged litigation.”

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division called the Arizona law a violation of the National Registration Act.

In a letter Brnovich sent to Clarke on July 1, obtained by Fox News, he called the newly passed law “common sense” and questioned whether the federal government is “attempting to undermine our sovereignty and destabilize our electoral infrastructure.”

In response to the lawsuit, Brnovich said the Justice Department wants to allow non-citizens to vote.

“In addition to free rooms and transportation for those who enter our country illegally, the Justice Department now wants to give them the opportunity to vote.”he told Fox News. Since the 2005 law was struck down, Arizona officials have not allowed voters who registered on the federal form to vote in state and local elections.

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