BY LINDA BENTLEY | JULY 11, 2012
U.S. Supreme Court upholds voter fraud in Arizona, for now
PHOENIX – On June 13, the state of Arizona filed an application with the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the mandate of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which found the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) preempts the application of A.R.S. § 16-166(F), known as Proposition 200, requiring proof of citizenship when registering to vote and showing ID when going to the polls to vote.
The state requested the stay while preparing a petition for a writ of certiorari to appeal the lower court’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
However, on June 28, the Supreme Court allowed the lower court’s ruling to stand and effectively stopped Arizona election officials from requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote, which it has required since 2005, shortly after passing Proposition 200 in 2004.
The justices lifted that stay without comment, allowing the Ninth Circuit to order the practice of requiring proof of citizenship banned.
While the court found the proof of citizenship requirement was in violation of the NVRA, it upheld the portion of the law that requires voters to produce valid identification when voting at the polls.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who argued the Ninth Circuit’s decision would cause the state to suffer irreparable harm, plans to have a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court ready to file by the end of this month and stated, “I believe we deserve to have it granted.”
Horne also argued there was no evidence that the proof of citizenship requirement has stopped any eligible citizen from registering to vote.
Disappointed in the court’s decision, Secretary of State Ken Bennett said, “There isn’t a corner of this state where people are not concerned with voter fraud,” while he found it difficult to fathom why anyone would be opposed to the “simple act of providing proof that you are legally eligible to participate in our elections.”
The passage of Proposition 200 in 2004 by a margin of 56 percent made it clear Arizonans believe people should be required to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote.
What isn’t clear is if the state is only precluded from requiring proof of citizenship if the person registers to vote using the federal form and can still require proof when using the Arizona voter registration form, although that is how Horne interpreted the court’s opinion. He also said “almost everybody” uses the state form.
Opposing counsel seemed to be of the opinion the ruling means Arizona should be precluded from requiring proof of citizenship regardless of which form is used.
The court’s decision, however, creates a more serious problem for Arizona, whereas, if no one is required to provide proof of citizenship to register, there is nothing preventing illegal aliens and non-citizens from registering to vote, then signing up to be placed on the permanent early voter list to vote by mail without ever having to show an ID or provide proof of anything in order to vote.