What the Supreme Court actually said about Arizona’s proof of citizenship requirement

U.S.Supreme Court at dusk

Opinion: The U.S. Supreme Court didn’t hold that Arizona cannot enforce its proof of citizenship requirements for voter registration.

By Robert Robb | Arizona Republic

From statehood, the Arizona Constitution has required citizenship to vote. In 2004, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure requiring new registrants to provide proof of citizenship, through a driver’s license, birth certificate or other documents.

Today, Arizona has a bifurcated electorate. Those registered prior to the 2004 proposition, or who provided the proof of citizenship subsequently, can vote for all offices, state and federal. Those who registered subsequently and who affirm citizenship, but do not offer documentation, can vote only for federal offices.

A recently enacted bill (House Bill 2492) seeks to beef up the state’s proof of citizenship requirement. This has been denounced in liberal activist circles and already has had lawsuits filed against it.

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One of the claims is that the issue has already been before the U.S. Supreme Court and the bill defies the court’s ruling in that case, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, decided in 2013.

That’s a misrepresentation of what was before the court at that time and what it held.

States can decide who is eligible to vote


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April 2022