Governor Signs Prop. 200; Feds Will Check Voting Issue

Elvia Díaz, Arizona Republic, Dec. 9

With a federal judge’s approval, Gov. Janet Napolitano has effectively proclaimed the voting aspects of Proposition 200 law.

U.S. District Judge David C. Bury, who blocked the proposition’s implementation until Dec. 22, modified his order late Tuesday to allow Napolitano to sign the measure and submit the voting provision for federal review.

On Wednesday, Napolitano, who was out of state, authorized her lawyer to use a signature machine to proclaim it law. She plans to sign the document Monday.

The state can now seek the U.S. Justice Department’s approval for the new voting provisions required by Proposition 200, which calls for Arizonans to prove citizenship when registering to vote. It also requires voters casting a ballot in person to show identification. The federal government must approve any voting changes, a process that takes at least 60 days.

Bury’s order prohibits state and local government workers from checking immigration papers of anyone seeking non-federally mandated public benefits. He will consider evidence about this aspect of the anti-illegal immigration measure Dec. 22 and could issue an injunction or allow it to become law.

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