State Can't Hide Federal Voter Registration Form, Judge Rules in Latest Blow to '04 Law

voter-registration-form.JPG
Arizona must make the federal voter-registration form just as available to voters as a state registration form which requires proof of citizenship, a judge ruled today.

The "final judgment" by Arizona Senior U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver follows up on June's U.S. Supreme Court order which struck down the voter-approved 2004 Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to vote.

What the new ruling boils down to is this: Arizona officials can't hide from would-be voters the federal registration form, which requires only that voters check a box indicating they're citizens instead of proving citizenship with additional documentation.

See also:
- Supreme Court Strikes Down Proof-of-Citizenship Provision in Proposition 200

Voters worried that illegal immigrants might influence Arizona elections passed Proposition 200 in 2004, requiring all voters to prove they were citizens and present photo ID at the polls. After a lawsuit was filed by the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, the law was struck down in 2010 by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 7-2 ruling on June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court supported the law's quashing, saying the state can't burden voters in federal elections with a more stringent requirement for registration than the federal system.

Tom Horne, state Attorney General, and Ken Bennett, secretary of state, didn't like that ruling and launched a lawsuit last month that, if successful, would allow Arizona to require proof of citizenship on the federal voter-registration form.

As that court challenge develops, today's ruling by Silver seems designed to make sure Arizona doesn't employ any sneaky methods to get around the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, like making the federal form scarce.

silver-roslyn-judge.jpg
Image: uscourts.gov
Arizona Senior U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn O. Silver
First, Silver's ruling makes another official declaration that the Inter Tribal Council has won the lawsuit, and that Arizona is required to "accept and use" the National Mail Voter Registration Form for registering voters for federal elections. Arizona is precluded from requiring voters to submit more documentation than is called for by the federal form itself, she writes, permanently blocking Arizona from implementing that part of the law.

But the interesting part is what follows: Silver orders that Arizona:


"...shall make the Federal Form (and the applicable instructions) available through all reasonable channels, including including all channels Defendants use to make the State registration form available (including websites). Defendants also shall ensure that all written materials regarding the process for registering to vote, that Defendants distribute or make available to the public (including websites), include a statement that individuals may apply to register to vote in elections for Federal office using the Federal Form, and that, in using the Federal Form, applicants are not required to provide the documentary proof of citizenship information set forth in A.R.S. §§ 16-166(F)-(J) in order to register to vote."


In other words, the state may not like the "on-your-honor," checked-box system of the federal form -- but they have to make certain that whenever Arizona disseminates info about how to register to vote, it must also inform would-be voters that they don't need to show ID and can just fill out the federal form. When and where Arizona provides the state voter-registration form, it must also provide the federal version.

Silver goes even further to ensure compliance by Arizona. Every time a person registers with the federal form without showing proof of citizenship or other ID, Arizona must "create a record" that lets the state and the would-be voter know the registration was successful, and that the person is eligible to vote.

Arizona can't fool around with this one.

But if the Election Assistance Commission changes the state-specific federal form and allows the ID provision, Silver writes in her order, she'll "revisit" her order.

The order apparently still allows Arizona to require proof of citizenship and ID for registration of voters for state and local elections. However, as every voter knows, the local, state and federal ballot election questions are usually all on the same form. The state could separate them out, requiring special, federal-only ballots and even polling places. But that would be expensive.

Unless Horne and Bennett's lawsuit is successful, this appears to be the last nail in the pine box for 2004's Proposition 200.


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113 comments
robert_graham
robert_graham

Because illegal aliens commit ID Theft to work what makes you believe they wouldn't do the same to vote?  This is why ID must be required to vote. 

The next time I get on a plane can I simply state I am who I say I am to TSA and not have to show ID? 

And the next time I decide to drive to Mexico, when I return can I simpy say I am who I say I am and not have to show ID?  It's obvious that I am an American Citizen so why should they ask?

And if I go to the bank to cash a check can i simply tell the bank teller I am who the check is made out to and not have to show ID?

Can persons who appear to be under 18 go buy cigarettes without having to show ID by simply declaring they are at least 18?

If I get pulled over for speeding can I simply state to the officer I am who I say i am and not be required to show a drivers license? Apparently illegals don't think they should have to show papers so why should I?

You see these are just a few examples but there's more.  Therefore, every person should have to show ID to vote. PERIOD!  Those opposing it are the very same ones who want to break the law.

james8394
james8394

I went to vote (which I always do) shortly after this law was enacted. My voter registration card was not considered valid ID, My employee badge with picture from SRP (government entity) was not considered valid ID. My US passport was not considered valid ID. if this was due to poorly trained poll workers or poorly written & understood law is for others to decide. For me, it was an irritation I have no wish to repeat. Only in AZ could a law be passed  that made U.S. passports not a valid ID

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Wouldn't it make more sense to say that the federal government has an obligation to make sure that anybody who wants proof of citizenship should be able to obtain it at the government's expense?

If the feds can provide healthcare, surely they can provide the means of proving that you're eligible to vote, right?   Essentially, free passports.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

I don't believe the federal government is actively trying to encourage voter fraud, but I can't think of any other reason why they would require the State to prove that, if a person showed ID to register, that they had told them "if you don't want to show ID, we have this other form you can use".

Anybody?


WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

The only case I've ever heard of where non-citizens were caught voting in AZ, was a couple of snowbirds from Canada that thought having a winter home in Sun City allowed them to vote.


Reality is that illegals don't vote and never have.  It's FAR too big a risk for very little gain.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@robert_graham, jafy, stupido, u r a fucking looser, it's over, d judge already ruled, is not necesary 2 show id in order 2 vote, bitch. If d UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS commited ID theft, where r d victims? just like ur hero, the paronoid RACIST, -I wonder when is he going 2 b threatened again-both of u, just talk nonsense, just keep on yapping, the leash is coming soon though. ha ha ha ha ha, MUCHO LOCOS.

robert_graham
robert_graham

@james8394 Really?  That's because you could use a passport multiple times to vote.  If you get pulled over for speedding try substituting yiour work badge for a drivers licesne and see how far you get. idiot!

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

I call "bullshit". Your passport and a utility bill with your name and address would have been valid. Don't you take your citizenship seriously enough to check the requirements? You sound like the fuckwads that go to the wrong polling place then have a hissyfit. You obviously have computer access. How do you turn rock stupid on election day? I have no patience for shit for brains like you. You probably dodge jury duty too, goddamn crybaby.

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@valleynative 

The federal government has passports but the State of Arizona doesn't accept those if you show up at the polling both with just that as ID.

The feds don't provide healthcare either, assuming you are talking about "Obamacare".

Finally, citizenship by itself is not proof of eligibility to vote and the feds don't determine eligibility in any case, the states do.  For example, the State of Arizona can make all residents eligible to vote or they can restrict it to US citizens who are residents.  Arizona could also lower the voting age to 16.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative How about we have proof of eligibility, registration, and back ground checks for people that want to buy a killing machine (a gun)?

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@valleynative

You can't think of any other reason?  I can.  To make it simple for people to register to vote.  Encouraging participation in a fundamental right, voting.

People can hold voter registration drives at the mall, in a park, anywhere.  And people don't have to run home to find their passport or other proof of US citizenship, they just sign up.

Nothing prevents the State of Arizona from verifying that people didn't fraudulently register to vote after they've registered but the burden is placed where it belongs, on the state and not the person simply trying to register to vote.

Registration restrictions have historically been used as a means to exclude people from voting.  


'Blacks were still elected to local offices in the 1880s, but the establishment Democrats were passing laws to make voter registration and electoral rules more restrictive, with the result that political participation by most blacks and many poor whites began to decrease.[5][6] Between 1890 and 1910, ten of the eleven former Confederate states, starting with Mississippi, passed new constitutions or amendments that effectively disfranchised most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites through a combination of poll taxesliteracy and comprehension tests, and residency and record-keeping requirements.[5][6]Grandfather clauses temporarily permitted some illiterate whites to vote but using the same law prevented most blacks from voting."

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative Not everyone has the accepted ID.  For example, there are elderly folks that don't drive, and may not have needed to show a birth certificate in 30 years.    Will you pay for the time and effort it would take them to get  stated issued ID?

james8394
james8394

@jonnyquest jonny, no need to be hostile. Just saying what happened. Do you make it a habit to carry a utility bill with you? I Don't. And yes, as a veteran of the U.S. Army I do take my citizenship seriously. Have a good evening

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@jonnyquest 

BTW, james is correct, if you show up at the polling place with just a US passport it will NOT be considered adequate ID.  Even adding in his employee badge will NOT be sufficient.  

Yet he is obviously a US citizen and his name shows up on the list of registered voters.

Oh, you need a utility bill with your NAME on it?  I know you live in a little fantasy world so here's a tip, some people don't have utility bills.  Like 18 yr old kids.

So you have a passport but you don't drive, don't have a bank account, don't have a utility bill so what do you have to dig up to vote?  Your voter registration card (good luck finding THAT) or you have to remember to save one of the mailings that is addressed to you that says "Official Election Material".  

That makes it FAR more difficult for poor people to vote, they are disenfranchised because they don't have utility bills in their name, vehicle registrations, etc. that you just take for granted.

So F you and your taking citizenship seriously

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@jonnyquest 

What does some bizarre Arizona law have to do with "taking citizenship seriously"?  I have a right to vote, why is Arizona trying to make it difficult?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@asdfasdf @valleynative 

Slight correction there. 

While the States run the elections, they are not able to make rules/laws regarding eligibility in Federal Elections, that's reserved for the Federal Govt.

States can only make rules/laws in relation to their own elections and are mandated by law, that they agreed to when they joined the union, to follow the Federal Rules/Laws for Federal Elections.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@asdfasdf

Think about what I'm asking instead of what you want to say.

Why do they require that people who show ID be told that they don't HAVE to show ID if they don't want to.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

What if I don't have acceptable ID? Can I still buy a gun? It's an explicit right, as is voting.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @WhoKnows Voting fraud is a major crime. And people won't do it to cast a single ballot.  When has any illegal been caught voting in AZ or elsewhere?  Provide a link!

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

Yes it is.. but the good news is if you work at it, you can learn and overcome your stupidity. Best of luck to you on that.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

"Life is hard, flyer. It's even harder when you're stupid."

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@jonnyquest 

Your head is pounding because you haven't had a drink in an hour.  Pour yourself some more bourbon, go sit on the couch and dream of building a wall that rivals the Berlin wall.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest It must be so easy for you, having a perfect life, everything in order, in it's place and happening according to your schedule....

Judgmental assholes like you, who think that your way of living life and your life are the model and only valid way for everyone else are what is ruining this country.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@james8394 @jonnyquest 

Clearly you were NOT saying what happened, since you were WRONG.

Do you make it a habit to talk about things you clearly have no accurate knowledge in? (don't bother answering, rhetorical question)

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

You're a vet and you don't have your shit squared away enough to vote? Fuck....me. I really gotta lay down. My head is pounding.

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@jonnyquest 

I throw my voter registration card away, do you laminate yours and keep it in your wallet along with your KKK card?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

Since when is my Voter Registration card, the deciding factor of whether or not I am a citizen????

I thought that was established when I was BORN HERE.

Your headache is self inflicted

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

You can't find your voter registration card and you want a say on taxes and choose people who write laws? So much stupid at one time is giving me a headache.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @asdfasdf @valleynative  

When we joined the union, there were no federal laws for "federal" elections.  The states elect their Congressmen and Electors to choose a President and Vice President.  

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@asdfasdf @ExpertShot @valleynative  Certainly won't kill anyone by pretending they have a gun and yelling bang bang.  However, add a gun, and you got yourself a lead slingin party.  Hope get that junior - I don't want to have to explain it again for you.


asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@valleynative @interloper 

You have it backwards, they do NOT have to document the fact that anybody who did show proof was told it wasn't necessary.  You are wildly confused.

They do have to document every time a person uses the FEDERAL FORM and doesn't show ID that the person AFTER REGISTERING is told that in fact they have successfully registered.


jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Yes. After all, he is ......"ExpertShot".

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ExpertShot @valleynative

Your argument against the fact that people kill people is by far the dumbest I've heard.  Did you think it was the loud noise that kills people?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@interloper  

Read the article.  They have to document the fact that anybody who did show proof was told that it wasn't necessary.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@valleynative @asdfasdf Because they're afraid that the Republicants have issued fake IDs to right wing Canadians who they have imported from Quebec and want to STICK IT TO THEM!  "Say, you didn't have to buy that illegal ID for Jacques just to be able to vote for your dumb ass - he could have just filled out the Federal Form". 

BTW - Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People.  RIGHT - Ever stand in the street and shout "Bang Bang" and see how many people fall down dead?  NO, you didn't because without a gun people can't kill people.  Without an ID, people CAN vote though - now, after a friggin judge had to tell the Republicants that their bullshite law was unconstitutional - YET AGAIN!!!

interloper
interloper

@valleynative@asdfasdf I don't think the ruling says that people who have shown ID "be told that they don't HAVE to show ID if they don't want to". The ruling says they have to make the federal forms as readily available as the state forms and inform people that they don't have to show ID if they use the federal form. So it seems to me that your question is moot.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Come on. We the people....we CAN form a more perfect union. Stop the infringment!!!

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Unless you buy from a licensed dealer. Lets work together to remove that restriction on our rights.

phxjustice
phxjustice

@Flyer9753 @asdfasdf @valleynative @WhoKnows They can't prove it and that is the crux of their problem.  But that won't stop them from pushing every voter suppression measure that they can.  If they can't win on their ideas, they need to win by suppression.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@asdfasdf @valleynative @WhoKnows (not to you directly asd, just joining the convo)

This is the crux of this entire argument

"Do you have any evidence that non-citizens are voting"

Every time we get bombarded by this push for ID and cry about illegal voting, this question get's asked, as it should.

And to date, not a single person (like Valleyidiot) who claims all of this massive voter fraud going on, they can't show even 1 case of it happening... 

It's supposedly RAMPANT according to valleyidiot and others, so rampant that we have to do it... yet they themselves cannot prove it's happening....

Of course when you do look at the facts, it's clear it's not happening... since the only people being caught are the crazy Republicans like Ann Coulter (who valleyidiot so readily dismisses due to her famousness (only famous in your mind valley)) who did it deliberately to gain an advantage...

Interesting how Coulter is doing it deliberately for a personal gain, the exact argument that valleyidiot uses against the rampant illegal voting... that isn't actually happening and that he then dismisses so easily since it's a white female republican (read not a 'foreigner') 

Well how about the Republican in Nevada, private citizen, non-famous, who got caught voting twice on the same day... to test the system according to her....oh wait.. that won't work for valleyidiot either since it's another white female republican...

hmm... are we seeing a pattern here yet???

Prove it's happening, make your case, or STFU and stop wasting time and energy that needs to be used for things that really are happening.

The sky is not falling, no matter how much you idiots claiming rampant voter fraud scream it is.

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@valleynative @WhoKnows @asdfasdf 

Do you have any evidence that non-citizens are voting?

There isn't a problem in search of a solution here and the Arizona Republican party knows it, that's why the burdensome rules for registering and voting are really intended to discourage people who have the right to vote from registering and/or voting.  non-citizens voting is a smoke screen.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows @valleynative @asdfasdf  

If you don't understand that noncitizens might vote for candidates friendly to them, then you're not really qualified to comment on this topic.

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@valleynative @asdfasdf 

Doing business with a bank isn't a constitutional right.  The bank is free to only cash checks for people who dance a jig, the State of Arizona can't make you dance a jig to register to vote.


WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @asdfasdf valley.  I can deposit a check at an ATM, and then get cash back.  No ID required!

And the mailbox does not make me show ID when I drop in my mail-in ballot.

interloper
interloper

@valleynative@asdfasdf How exactly is the bank denying you a fundamental right guaranteed by the United States Constitution? If you don't like the bank's rules go do business with another bank. Like it or not the federal courts have the power to to force subordinate jurisdictions to abide by the United States Constitution.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@asdfasdf

If a bank wants to verify my identification before they cash a check that's the burden of the bank, but I shouldn't have to show ID?

Doesn't make much sense in that context, does it? 

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@valleynative @WhoKnows 

If the state doesn't want to spend the money to validate the people on voter registration rolls, that's the choice of the state.  But that is exactly where the burden belongs.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows @valleynative  

Ok, so if  you're famous enough that people know who you are and where you live, you might be caught.  Not much of a data point.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows @valleynative  

How can anybody be caught at voter fraud?  Do you know how expensive it would be for the State to verify citizenship of every person who mails in a ballot, given that they're not allowed to ask for proof?

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