You won’t believe what happened!
A new bill will require Arizona residents to show proof of citizenship to vote in a Presidential election, a move that has sparked outrage from activists.
Explaining his decision to sign the bill on Wednesday, Arizona Governor Dough Ducey said in a statement, “Election integrity means counting every lawful vote and prohibiting any attempt to illegally cast a vote.”
In the Presidential elections, voters will be required to show proof of citizenship, which includes providing applicable documents like a driver’s license, tribal ID number, copy of a birth certificate, passport, or naturalization documents. Newly registered voters will also have to provide proof of residence proving they are an Arizona resident.
Ducey noted that the bill is a “balanced approach” honoring Arizona’s “history of making voting accessible without sacrificing security.”
He also added that 99.9 percent of Arizona “will not have to re-register,” noting that the bill “only affects a very small percentage of total voters, and even then, we actually grandfathered in all of those who are already registered to vote that have some form of proof of citizenship on file.”
According to Republicans, approximately 31,500 voters haven’t given proof of citizenship.
But, activists worry that the bill could affect hundreds of thousands who haven’t updated their driver’s license or voter registration recently.
Jon Sherman, litigation director for the Fair Elections Center, said Arizona was going “out on a limb,” before adding that the “provisions in this bill are not really found anywhere in the country.”
The latest bill mirrors actions required of Arizona voters in 2004, where voters would need to provide proof of citizenship to vote in elections. The bill was challenged. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that although Arizona could adopt its own legislation on voting eligibility for state elections, it couldn’t require voters to do more than what was necessary for the federal voter registration forms. The federal registration forms only require voters to reveal whether they are citizens but don’t require them to show any proof.