The U.S. Department of Justice wants to legally block a recently passed law in Arizona that requires proof of citizenship to vote in some federal elections.
The DOJ announced it filed the lawsuit Tuesday to stop the legislation that was signed into law by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey in March and is supposed to take effect at the beginning of next year.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division said the Arizona law is a “textbook violation” of the National Registration Act that requires each state to establish federal election voter registration procedures.
“For nearly three decades, the National Voter Registration Act has helped move states in the right direction by eliminating unnecessary requirements that have historically made it harder for eligible voters to access the registration rolls,” Clarke said in a press release. Arizona has passed a law that turns the clock back on progress by imposing illegal and unnecessary requirements that would block eligible voters from the registration rolls for certain federal elections.
“The Justice Department will continue to use every available tool to protect all Americans’ right to vote and to ensure that their voices are heard.”
Arizona wants to require applicants to show documents that prove they are a citizen before they can vote in presidential elections or vote by mail in any federal election when applicants use the uniform federal registration.
The DOJ argued the new law ignored a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that shot down an earlier attempt in 2005 by Arizona to impose similar documentary proof of citizenship on residents that want to vote in federal elections.
The DOJ also argued the law violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it mandates election officials to reject voter registration forms that have minor errors.
Clarke sent a June 27 letter, uploaded by Fox News Digital, to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich threatening litigation, but saying the DOJ hopes to resolve the issue “amicably and avoid protracted litigation.”
In a letter Brnovich sent Clarke on July 1, obtained by Fox News, he said the newly passed law was “common sense” and questioned whether the federal government is “attempting to undermine our sovereignty and destabilize our election infrastructure.”
In response to the lawsuit, Brnovich said the DOJ wants to allow non-citizens to vote.
“In addition to free rooms and transportation for those illegally entering our country, the DOJ now wants to give them a chance to vote,” he told Fox News.
Since the 2005 law was killed, Arizona officials have not allowed voters who registered with the federal form to vote in local and state elections.
With Post wires