In March 2022, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law rules requiring voters to show proof of their citizenship if they want to vote in any presidential election (the next presidential election being held in 2024). Before the legislation was signed, many voting rights activists questioned whether this measure was legal.
In part, the legislation in House Bill 2492 states that to be a qualified voter in Arizona, a registrant must provide “satisfactory evidence of citizenship.” The evidence is more than the citizen swearing under oath as required on the federal form. The law goes on to further read, “A person is presumed to be properly registered to vote on completion of a registration form… that contains at least the name, the residence address or the location, proof of the location of residence… the date and place of birth and the signature or other statement of the registrant” and that state election officials must verify every voter through the federal voter registration form. There is no legitimate reason to request place of birth on a voter registration form; the federal form does not.
Prior to the signing of this legislation, voters could swear under penalty of perjury to their citizenship to verify that they were citizens of the United States on the federal voter registration form. Now, they must provide documentary proof to be eligible to register to voter, or so the state law claims to require. The law initially went into effect 90 days after the current legislative session, meaning it’s in place before the state’s August primary races--but in light of its questionable legality--even as noted by the Legislature's own attorneys--its effective date has been delayed until after the 2022 election.
Constitutionality of the Law
A 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling reinforces that the new Arizona legislation violates the National Voter Registration Act. So while Arizona state lawmakers know that the recently revised legislation is unlawful, they continued to push the bill to the governor’s desk. Because HB 2492 was signed, the measure will most likely be appealed and find its way in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Questioning the Validity of Other Legislation?
While we will watch and see what courts decide regarding HB 2492, some may begin to question the validity of other state legislation. If you believe you have a case, you will need an experienced unconstitutional legislation lawyer working with you.
The knowledgeable team at Barton Mendez Soto PLLC has worked on cases to ensure the rights of all remain intact. Just because a law is in place does not mean there are no potential flaws. See what our team does to fight for justice and contact us if you want to talk about a possible case. (480) 418-0668