DOJ sues Arizona over new voting laws that include requiring proof of citizenship to vote

The United States Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona for new voting laws enacted in the state that the DOJ says violate voters’ rights. 

Arizona law HB 2492 was signed into law in March by Republican Governor Doug Ducey. The bill requires anyone who wishes to vote in the state of Arizona in person or by mail to provide proof of citizenship. The Department of Justice claims that the measure violates voters’ rights by making it harder to vote.

“House Bill 2492’s onerous documentary proof of citizenship requirement for certain federal elections constitutes a textbook violation of the National Voter Registration Act,” DOJ Civil Rights Division Head Kristen Clarke said in a statement on Tuesday. “Arizona is a repeat offender when it comes to attempts to make it harder to register to vote,” she told The Guardian.

“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. The Justice Department will continue to use every available tool to protect all Americans’ right to vote and to ensure that their voices are heard,” the DOJ statement reads.

A 1993 act, the National Voter Registration Act, requires all states to accept a federal form as voter registration, and does not require proof of citizenship, but simply asks voters to attest that they are US citizens. A violation of this provision results in perjury charges.

“Please be assured I will defend this law to the US supreme court if necessary and defeat the federal government’s efforts to interfere with our state’s election safeguards,” said Republican Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich in a letter to Clarke in response to the lawsuit. Brnovich is also running for Senate in the upcoming midterm elections.




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