Skip to main content
We may receive compensation from affiliate partners for some links on this site. Read our full Disclosure here.

Federal Judge Upholds Voting Law Requiring Proof Of Citizenship To Vote

A federal judge has upheld provisions in Arizona voting laws that require voters to provide proof of U.S. citizenship to vote in elections.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled Thursday that the legislation requiring tighter voting restrictions did not discriminate or violate civil rights.

“Considering the evidence as a whole, the court concludes that Arizona’s interests in preventing non-citizens from voting and promoting public confidence in Arizona’s elections outweighs the limited burden voters might encounter when required to provide (documentary proof of citizenship),” Bolton wrote, according to ABC News.

According to The Arizona Republic, the Department of Justice and seven different advocacy groups claimed the laws were discriminatory against minority voters in Arizona.

Bolton reportedly said the plaintiffs “failed to show that (the) voting laws were enacted with any discriminatory purpose.”

Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake told Newsmax “it’s absurd it takes a court ruling to affirm that only American citizens can vote in elections.”

The Arizona Republic reports:

In favor of civil rights groups, Bolton noted in her ruling that Arizona’s requirement for state election voters to list their place of birth violated the Civil Rights Act and National Voter Registration Act.

“The provision will result in the investigation of only naturalized citizens based on county recorders’ subjective beliefs that a naturalized individual is a non-citizen,” the ruling read.

Bolton added that Arizona cannot reject state election forms without proof of citizenship, as long as the individual registers as a federal-only voter and is otherwise qualified to vote in the election.

In 2022, both House Bill 2492 and HB 2243 were approved by the Arizona Legislature, enhancing the criteria for voter citizenship and determining their eligibility and methods of participation in state elections.

HB 2492 made it lawful to require proof of citizenship to participate in state elections, while HB 2243 required the quarterly reporting of the number of Arizona voters who did not list their citizenship status.

Bolton said the aimed goals of the laws to ensure fair voting processes addressed justified concerns while avoiding direct discriminatory practices.

Per ABC News:

The laws were challenged by voting rights groups and the U.S. Department of Justice. They argued the new rules would make registering voters more difficult.

“This ruling provides a cautionary note that should discourage officials from considering imposition of restrictive or burdensome proof of citizenship demands or requests for unnecessary information from voters before registering them to vote in federal elections,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue its vigorous enforcement of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and other federal laws to ensure that eligible voters are able to register and vote in federal elections vote.”

Some also suggested the statutes were an attempt to get the issue back in front of a more conservative Supreme Court.

While supporters said the measures would affect only voters who have not shown proof of citizenship, voting advocates claimed hundreds of thousands of people who haven’t recently updated their voter registration or driver’s license could be affected.

The ruling states that Arizona has required documentary proof of citizenship since 2005, and the new laws supplement that requirement to ensure non-citizens do not register to vote or remain on the voter rolls.

One of the two measures examined by Bolton would require state election officials to cross check registration information with various government databases to try to prove their citizenship and report anyone they can’t find to prosecutors.


Join the conversation!

Please share your thoughts about this article below. We value your opinions, and would love to see you add to the discussion!

Leave a comment
Thanks for sharing!