A sharply divided US Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case examining whether Arizona can require residents to present proof of US citizenship before being allowed to register to vote.
At issue is a measure adopted by statewide ballot in 2004, Proposition 200, that requires applicants for voter registration to present documentation proving their citizenship. Acceptable proof includes a driver’s license, a naturalization ID number, or a photocopy of a birth certificate, passport, or naturalization document.
Critics of the measure say it erects a barrier to potential voters. More specifically, they say the state law clashes with the more limited demands of the federal voter registration law.
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires only that an applicant to register to vote affirm his or her US citizenship under penalty of perjury. Congress did not require applicants to present documentary proof of citizenship. But Congress also did not explicitly bar states from seeking additional proof of citizenship while registering potential voters, according to Arizona.
Do you think residents should be required to prove they are U.S. citizens in order to vote?