Rep. Salmon introduces legislation to protect state voting eligibility verification from federal interference


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement upon introduction of the State Sovereignty in Voting Act, a bill that would ensure that the several states ultimately decide for themselves whether to require documents above and beyond the federal standard to determine citizenship for voting registration.

“One of the greatest responsibilities and highest honors for American citizens is the right to vote. It has long been understood that election integrity is absolutely critical to the peaceful transfer of power and a society’s democratic self-determination. Unfortunately, the federal government’s voter registration standards leave in place only nominal safeguards to prevent non-citizens from registering for the most sacred of democratic rights. Now, with the President’s latest round of unlawful and unconstitutional executive orders, millions more illegal immigrants will be provided the identification that allows them to successfully register to vote.

“Anticipating this problem, the State of Arizona proactively set new, higher standards to safeguard the electorate from this fraud. While these standards were sound and effective, the federal judiciary invalidated them, saying the federal voter registration form was sufficient and supreme.

“The State Sovereignty in Voting Act makes very, very clear that the states are free to enact their own additional safeguards to protect the integrity of the franchise from those seeking to fraudulently influence America’s elections.”

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion on the voter registration case of Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, holding that Arizona’s law is pre-empted by the National Voter Registration Act’s mandate that all states “accept and use” the Federal Form. In 2014, a federal appeals court also ruled that Arizona cannot require proof of citizenship above what is required on the federal voter registration form. This federal form merely requires that applicants attest to their citizenship with a signature and by checking a box. These rulings prevent states from taking proactive measures to maintain the integrity of their own elections.

Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee, as well as at least twelve other states that have contemplated such measures, have been adversely affected by the rulings. Read the full text of the bill here:


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February 2015