Arizona voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 200, requiring that people registering to vote show evidence of citizenship. The Ninth Circuit ruled that Arizona could not require proof of citizenship, above and beyond a signature, for those voters using the “federal form” (which is an alternative to the state registration form). It is clear to me, the signature is inadequate proof of citizenship, since someone who is willing to vote fraudulently would be willing to sign falsely.
In an extensive trial in this matter, a Federal District Court Judge found that voter fraud was a significant problem in Arizona. I appealed this case to the United States Supreme Court and argued it personally. The Supreme Court acknowledged that a federal statute makes the signature sufficient on the Federal Voter Registration Form, but it stated the following about the constitutional argument I made:
“Arizona is correct that it would raise serious constitutional doubts if a federal statute precluded a state from obtaining the information necessary to enforce its voter qualifications.”
The Supreme Court instructed Arizona to pursue this constitutional argument, at a federal agency, and then in Federal District Court, which I am now doing. In view of the above quoted language by the United States Supreme Court, I expect that Arizona will ultimately be successful in this case. In the meantime, I rendered an opinion to the Arizona Secretary of State to maintain two voting laws. Therefore, those using the federal form with no further evidence of citizenship can vote in federal elections only, and not in state or local elections. This opinion I issued stands, pending an expected decision that all voters will ultimately have to show evidence of citizenship.