Thursday, February 29, 2024

BREAKING: Judge THROWS OUT Parts of Pair of 2022 Arizona Election Laws; Republican Leaders Testified they Had No Evidence Of Non-Citizens Registered To Vote In AZ (READ Order)

In a comprehensive ruling, a federal judge today threw out parts of Arizona laws passed in 2022 addressing voter registration and citizenship. Her decisions that portions violated the Civil Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act came after Republican legislative leaders (Toma, Petersen) testifies that they had no evidence of non-citizens registered to vote here (nor that there was any evidence of non-citizen voter fraud).

Judge Susan Bolton's 109-page ruling followed a 10-day trial last year, and analyzed the pair of laws that had resulted in concerns that thousands of long-time voters might be purged from the registration rolls because they had not provided documentary proof of citizenship back when they had registered.

The Court finds that though it may occur, non-citizens voting in Arizona is quite rare, and non-citizen voter fraud in Arizona is rarer still. But while the Voting Laws are not likely to meaningfully reduce possible non-citizen voting in Arizona, they could help to prevent non-citizens from registering or voting.

The ruling prevents Arizona County Recorders from rejecting voter registrations on state forms simply because the person did not fill in their state or country of birth. Plaintiffs successfully argued that that is not a material reason to determine whether or not the registrant is a citizen.

Similarly, Bolton found that the part of the bill that gave County Recorders the right to investigate and cancel a voter registration if they "ha(ve) reason to believe" the person is not a citizen would subject naturalized citizens to different standards than native-born citizens.

The ruling also says that Arizona cannot reject state form registrtions that are not accompanied by documentary proof of citizenship, but should instead register those people as "Federal Only Voter(s)".

Bolton found that other arguments from the wide group of plaintiffs were not proven - including that the Republican-dominated Legislature enacted the laws "with any discriminatory purpose". She also upheld the "remaining citizenship investigation procedures, DPOC requirements, and registration cancellation procedures".

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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