Appeals Court Strikes Down Arizona Proof of Citizenship Law

In a victory for voting rights advocates yesterday, a federal appeals court in Phoenix struck down a key part of an Arizona law requiring voters to produce proof of citizenship before registering to vote. The court ruled that the state law requiring proof of citizenship is preempted by existing federal election laws. People For the American Way Foundation was a plaintiff in the case.

Michael B. Keegan, President of People For American Way Foundation, issued the following statement:

“Voter ID and proof of citizenship laws have been among the most pernicious products of the right-wing voter suppression campaign that has long sought to keep young, poor, and minority voters from the polls. This year, right-wing groups have jumped more enthusiastically than ever on the mythical problem of ‘voter fraud’ in order to suppress registration and intimidate potential voters. This decision is an important reminder of the real motivation behind the Right’s anti-‘voter fraud’ campaign: to keep large groups of citizens from participating in our democracy.

“No state should be allowed to circumvent federal law in order to turn citizens away from the polls. This decision is an important victory for all citizens of Arizona, and for the strength of our democracy.”

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