Wednesday, February 5, 2014

District Court Judge Deals Blow To Arizona/Kansas Case To Require Proof Of Citizenship With Federal Voter Registration Forms

Arizona and Kansas lost their bid to hold a trial on whether the federal voter registration form should allow states to require additional, documentary proof of citizenship, when a federal judge today granted a motion from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Judge Eric Melgren's one sentence decision follows yesterday's status hearing and changes next week's (Feb. 11) evidentiary hearing to simply oral arguments on the issue of whether the EAC had the authority to make the decision to not change the motor voter registration postcard form to mesh with Arizona's and Kansas's state laws requiring proof of citizenship.  The two states wanted the judge to hear their evidence and decide whether the federal form's requirement that the registering voter swears that he or she is a U.S. citizen does enough to prevent non-citizens from registering to vote.

Following its scathing decision last month that the small number of non-citizens registering to vote with either the federal form or with state forms did not justify the requested changes, the EAC filed a motion (posted below) to limit the District Court's review to the administrative record and to call off the evidentiary hearing.

Though Arizona and Kansas objected last week (motion posted below), the Court agreed today that it could only review the EAC's record.

Arizona and Kansas are proceeding towards having separate federal-election only ballots for voters who registered with the federal form and without providing proof of citizenship.

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