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Arizona Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Proof of US Citizenship to Vote

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The Arizona legislature has passed an election integrity measure on Wednesday to help ensure that only voters who can prove they are American citizens will be able to register to vote in the state.

House Bill 2492 requires Arizona voters to provide proof that they are citizens when they turn in voter registration forms.

The Epoch Times adds:

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The state Senate passed the bill March 23 in a 16–12 vote, with 12 Democrats voting against the bill and two others—Democratic Sens. Lela Alston and Juan Mendez—opting not to vote. The state House already passed the bill, which now heads to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk to be signed into state law.

The bill requires that every voter is a citizen of the United States and is able to provide satisfactory evidence as such. The legislation states that the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections must reject any application for registration that is not accompanied by satisfactory evidence of citizenship.

“The Attorney General shall prosecute individuals who are found to not be United States citizens,” the bill states, referring to non-citizens who try to register to vote.

Democrats critical of the measure fell back on a familiar talking to denounce the bill, claiming it will suppress voting in what has become a battleground state.

Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, urged Ducey to veto the measure, claiming in a Twitter post that the bill “creates new, unnecessary barriers for people registering to vote.”

During Wednesday’s testimony on why the measure ought to become law, state GOP Sen. Warren Peterson, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the bill will be a boon to election integrity.

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“The issue is making sure the citizens of our country are voting … and if you’re not a citizen of this country, you’re not allowed to vote,” he said.

GOP Rep. Jake Hoffman, the House bill’s sponsor, told the Arizona Daily Independent in February that the bill is to ensure that only U.S. citizens are able to vote in U.S. elections.

“Non-citizens should never be allowed to vote in American elections, yet shockingly nearly 12,000 people voted in the 2020 general election for federal office without any proof of U.S. citizenship,” he said. 

“Republicans at the Capitol are fighting like hell to protect the integrity of Arizona’s elections with bills like HB2492 so that voters can have confidence that every legally cast ballot matters,” he noted further.

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Hoffman also noted that the number of people in Arizona utilizing the federal form without having to provide proof of citizenship increased significantly between 2018 and 2020.

“So clearly this is a trend that is increasing,” Hoffman said. “This bill ensures that there is maximum flexibility to provide documentary proof of citizenship, but we don’t want foreign interference in our elections.”

It’s likely the measure will face a lawsuit, but it’s not clear when that will happen or who is planning on filing one. Also, in her tweet, Hobbs said the measure violates federal law but she did not elaborate about which statute the Arizona measure runs afoul of.

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Passage of the bill came as Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, demanded that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors hand over mail-in ballot signature files following the release of a troubling report on the 2020 election.

The report from the Election Systems Integrity Institute noted that the mail-in ballot signature verification process for Maricopa County during the 2020 general election was deeply flawed.

The study was headed by systems engineer Shiva Ayyadurai and said that around 200,000 ballot envelopes with mismatched signatures were forwarded to be counted sans any more review.

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