Republican Secretary of State Candidates Spar Over Arizona's Voter-Registration Rules

AZ Central

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan's decision to settle a lawsuit over the state's voter-registration rules has triggered a torrent of criticism from Steve Gaynor, her opponent in the Aug. 28 Republican primary.

Reagan has instructed county election officials to reject any state voter-registration forms that don't include documented proof of citizenship, the lawsuit alleges. However, it states, thousands of those voters are still eligible to vote in federal elections but aren't being registered for either.

About 26,000 voters in Maricopa County alone have been disenfranchised, according to the Campaign Legal Center, a non-partisan group that supported the plaintiffs. The total number could be far higher.

Arizona voters approved the state's strict proof-of-citizenship requirement more than a decade ago, through a 2004 ballot initiative.