Biden administration sues US state — Analysis
The Justice Department has sued the state for requiring voters to show that they are US citizens.
Arizona was sued Tuesday by the Biden Administration over its requirement that proof of citizenship be presented in order to cast a ballot. The US Federal Law makes it illegal to vote as a noncitizen. However, the Justice Department claims that asking for proof is constitutional. “unlawful and unnecessary.”
Arizona’s law, signed by Republican Governor Doug Ducey in March, would require voters to show documentary proof of citizenship – such as a state driving license or ID card – before casting their ballot, and task county officials with rejecting voter registration applications that don’t include proof of citizenship. It would be retroactively applicable to registered voters.
The government’s lawsuit alleges that these restrictions violate the National Voter Registration Act and the Civil Rights Act.
“Arizona has passed a law that turns the clock back on progress by imposing unlawful and unnecessary requirements that would block eligible voters from the registration rolls for certain federal elections,”Kristen Clarke was the Assistant Attorney General.
Although voting in America as a non-citizen can be a crime, the state does not ask for evidence. Voters must instead swear to their citizenship under penalty for perjury. Many states tried in the past to have federal courts require documentation instead of an oath to prove their citizenship.
Ducey described it as follows: “a balanced approach that honors Arizona’s history of making voting accessible without sacrificing security in our elections.” According to his office, signing the bill was necessary, as more than 11,600 people cast their votes in Arizona in 2020 without providing proof of citizenship, while in Maricopa County alone – where Joe Biden won by 45,000 votes – there are currently more than 13,000 active voters who never provided this proof while registering.
As of January 1, 2015, 15 cities, including New York City, permitted non-citizens the right to vote in their local elections. However, New York’s law has since been struck down by a state court.
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