Tags: Arizona | Kansas | voter | ID

Arizona, Kansas Voter Citizenship Laws Rejected

Friday, 07 Nov 2014 09:56 PM

Arizona and Kansas were blocked from enforcing a requirement of proof of U.S. citizenship for voter registration, a federal appeals court said in a victory for the Obama administration and minority-rights advocates.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver reversed a Kansas judge’s ruling in March that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission exceeded its authority by rejecting the states’ bid to add a proof-of-citizenship requirement on the state-specific instructions of the federal mail voter registration form.

The ruling comes three days after the midterm election when Republicans gained control of the Senate and increased their majority in the House. In the weeks before the election, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a setback to Democrats by letting Ohio cut early voting hours and North Carolina eliminate same-day registration, as well as allowing Texas to enforce a voter- identification law that the federal judge who heard the case said was aimed at reducing black and Hispanic turnout.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, a Republican who has signed legislation to require voters to show photo ID, won a second term this week.

In today’s decision, the appeals court found that Arizona and Kansas failed to show the proof of citizenship requirement was needed to prevent voting by noncitizens.

The original lawsuit over the citizenship requirement followed dozens of courtroom battles ahead of the 2012 presidential election over voter-identification requirements passed by Republican-dominated legislatures since President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory. Supporters of the laws say they’re needed to prevent voter fraud. Opponents contend the measures are aimed at suppressing the votes of low-income people and the elderly who may be more inclined to vote for Democrats.

Matt Roberts, a spokesman for Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, said the state’s voters in 2004 approved the proof of citizenship requirement at registration and at polls. Roberts declined to comment further, saying he hadn’t seen the ruling.

Kay Curtis, a spokeswoman for Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach, didn’t immediately respond to a phone and e-mail messages after regular business hours seeking comment on the ruling.

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Arizona and Kansas were blocked from enforcing a requirement of proof of U.S. citizenship for voter registration, a federal appeals court said in a victory for the Obama administration and minority-rights advocates.The U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver reversed a Kansas...
Arizona, Kansas, voter, ID
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Friday, 07 Nov 2014 09:56 PM
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