Appeals Court Overturns Arizona Law That Requires Proof Of Citizenship For Voter Registration

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Appeals court overturns Arizona law that requires proof of citizenship for voter registrationA Federal appeals court in Arizona has struck down a state law that requires voters to prove they are United States citizens before registering to vote.

According to media reports, the decision made by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says that the state law violates the National Voter Registration Act, which asks voters to swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury. The national law does not require proof of citizenship.

"This will enable the many poor people in Arizona who lack driver's licenses and birth certificates to register to vote," said Jon Greenbaum, legal director for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, quoted by The Associated Press.

Considering the voter registration deadline has passed for the Nov. 2 midterm elections, the court's ruling will have no effect on this year's voting.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Secretary of State Ken Bennett released a joint statement and called the decision an "outrage and a slap in the face to all Arizonans who care about the integrity of their elections." They said they will pursue legal remedies to help prevent illegal immigrants from voting.

The Republican nominee for Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, has claimed that large numbers of illegal immigrants are fraudulently registering to vote in the Sunflower State, The Washington Independent reports. Kobach said that the illegal registration of alien voters "has become pervasive."

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