Pew Stateline: 'Proof of Citizenship' Voting Laws May Surge Under Trump
But that gets confusing. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states may not require proof of citizenship for those who use the federal registration form, which states are required to accept. It didn’t bar them from requiring such documents for state elections, so states can set up a dual registration system—in which voters who lack proof of citizenship can register and vote in only federal elections.
Arizona is the only state that has such a system—so far. Critics say it is so complex that it prevents many voters from participating in elections for which they are eligible.
In a lawsuit filed last week, the Campaign Legal Center contends that Arizona’s bifurcated system, which voters approved by ballot initiative in 2004, is so unwieldy that many voters end up being excluded from elections for which they are eligible to vote. The group estimates that at least 26,000 people in Maricopa County, the largest in Arizona, have been disenfranchised by the policy.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with your eligibility or what document you provide, it only has to do with what piece of paper you write it on,” said Danielle Lang, a lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center who is working on the case. “And that just makes no sense.”