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Biden admin sues Arizona over election law requiring proof of citizenship

Voting tags at St. Augustine College are on display as Chicago voters hit the polls on April 2, 2019. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/TNS)
July 06, 2022

President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice announced Tuesday it is suing Arizona over an election integrity law that will require voters to show proof of American citizenship in order to vote in federal elections.

Arizona House Bill (H.B.) 2492 – which is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2023 – aims to protect lawful votes by requiring proof of citizenship to cast a ballot, Gov. Doug Ducey’s office explained after his signing on March 30. If an individual cannot provide proof of citizenship, he or she will “not be eligible to vote in a presidential election or by mail.”

According to a DOJ press release, the Biden administration alleges the law violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“For nearly three decades, the National Voter Registration Act has helped to move states in the right direction by eliminating unnecessary requirements that have historically made it harder for eligible voters to access the registration rolls,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Arizona has passed a law that turns the clock back on progress by imposing unlawful and unnecessary requirements that would block eligible voters from the registration rolls for certain federal elections.”

At the bill’s signing, Gov. Doug Ducey argued that it “is a balanced approach that honors Arizona’s history of making voting accessible without sacrificing security in our elections.”

“Federal law prohibits non-citizens from voting in federal elections. Arizona law prohibits non-citizens from voting for all state and local offices, and requires proof of citizenship,” Ducey had said in a letter explaining his support for the measure. “H.B. 2492 provides clarity to Arizona law on how officials process federal form voter registration applications that lack evidence of citizenship.”

The Biden administration’s lawsuit comes as illegal immigrants continue pouring across the US-Mexico border in record-breaking numbers, overwhelming Arizona and other border states. In May alone, 239,416 illegal immigrants were arrested at the border, according to the latest U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics.  

Last year, 1,734,686 illegal immigrants were arrested at the border, shattering the previous yearly record. That record is set to be broken once again — 1,536,899 illegal immigrants were already arrested at the border by the end of May this year.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich slammed the Biden administration’s “lawlessness” and vowed to fight the lawsuit.

“In addition to free rooms and transportation for those illegally entering our country, the DOJ now wants to give them a chance to vote,” Brnovich said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “It’s another round of Brnovich v. Biden. I will once again be in court defending Arizona against the lawlessness of the Biden administration.”