Arizona Election Security Law: Federal Court Upholds Documentation Requirements

In a critical ruling issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton upheld Arizona’s rigorous measures aimed at maintaining the sanctity of its electoral process, emphasizing the state’s right to prevent non-citizens from voting while enhancing public confidence in its elections.

The decision generally affirms Arizona’s commitment to safeguarding election integrity. This issue has taken center stage recently, especially following the contentious 2020 presidential election and the highly suspicious 2022 gubernatorial election in the Grand Canyon State.

Bolton’s ruling came as a blow to Joe Biden’s Justice Department and various left-wing groups that have challenged Arizona’s election integrity laws, labeling them discriminatory. Contrary to these allegations, Bolton found that the state’s requirement for voters to provide documentary proof of citizenship (DPOC) did not impose significant burdens on legitimate voters. DPOC is necessary for many basic societal functions, including passport applications and other routine applications for government permits or benefits. Requiring the same level of scrutiny in order to vote does not create an unreasonable burden on actual voters who are indeed eligible.

The court’s acknowledgment of Arizona’s vested interest in keeping noncitizens off voter rolls while promoting public confidence in elections is a critical step forward. Despite striking down specific provisions, such as using the SAVE database, which was deemed insufficient since it only covers naturalized citizens, Bolton’s ruling allows Arizona to continue investigating registered voters who have not provided DPOC.

The ruling comes against a massive spike in “federal only” voters in Arizona. The state has seen increasingly close elections in recent years. Arizona voters had approved Proposition 200 in 2004, requiring DPOC and photo identification to vote, reflecting the state’s long-standing commitment to preventing voter fraud. Despite the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling that states could not require proof of citizenship to register to vote in federal elections, Arizona has continued to adapt its laws to bolster election security while complying with federal guidelines.

Liberal critics, including the Biden administration, have argued that Arizona’s laws contradict the Supreme Court’s decision and the National Voter Registration Act. However, Bolton’s decision refutes these claims, highlighting the state’s rightful actions to ensure its elections are fair and secure.

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