Must Voters Have to Prove Citizenship to Register?

Jesse J. Holland and Jacques Billeaud, CNS News, March 18, 2013

The Supreme Court argued Monday over whether states fighting voter fraud and illegal immigration can make people document their U.S. citizenship before allowing them to use a federal voter registration system that was designed to make it easier to vote.

Several justices questioned whether Arizona and other states have the right to force people to document their citizenships when Congress didn’t require it in ordering states to accept and use the “Motor Voter” registration card. But other justices said states should be able to police the citizenship of voters since the federal government only asks people to swear on paper that they’re U.S. citizens.

“This is proof? This is not proof at all,” said Justice Antonin Scalia, who sounded skeptical of the opponents of Arizona’s law.


The court is deciding the legality of Arizona’s requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under a federal voter registration law. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which doesn’t require that documentation, trumped Arizona’s Proposition 200 passed in 2004.

Arizona appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

This case focuses on voter registration in Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues involving the Mexican border. But it has broader implications because four other states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee — have similar requirements, and 12 other states are contemplating similar legislation, officials say.

The federal “Motor Voter” law, enacted in 1993 to expand voter registration, allows would-be voters to fill out a mail-in voter registration card and swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it doesn’t require them to show proof. {snip}


Opponents of Arizona’s law see it as an attack on vulnerable voter groups such as minorities, immigrants and the elderly. They say they’ve counted more than 31,000 potentially legal voters in Arizona who easily could have registered before Proposition 200 but were blocked initially by the law in the 20 months after it passed in 2004. They say about 20 percent of those thwarted were Latino.


This is the second voting issue the high court is tackling this session. Last month, several justices voiced deep skepticism about whether a section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a law that has helped millions of minorities exercise their right to vote, especially in areas of the Deep South, was still needed.



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  • MekongDelta69

    Yeah – why bother with a little thing called ‘citizenship’ when it comes to voting – or anything else in the ‘New’ America?

  • The__Bobster

    I simply don’t understand the libtard mind. Since one has to be a citizen to vote, how can it possibly be illegal to ask for proof?

    • Luca

      There is no logic, reason, ethics, morality or rationale in the liberal mind, there is only “The Agenda.”

      • pcmustgo

        No, it’s only “the media” , that media-fed diversity stuff… that heal the oppressed third world people’s of the world. That “I love Blacks, Latinos, Asians” but have very limited real world experience with them without even realizing that stuff.

        I would know, I was one.

      • ms_anthro
  • Marc B.

    A similarly comprised supreme court decided unanimously that it wasn’t considered fraud for illegal aliens to falsify documents:

    One set of laws for you, another set of laws for the invaders from south of the border. I don’t have much expectation in them backing up Arizona on this time around.

  • IKantunderstand

    Actually, at this point, I don’t know why any restrictions are implemented on voting. Apparently, dead people can vote, you can vote multiple times, you can vote by being bussed in, shoot, voting has become meaningless in this country. We are are right on the timetable to become a piece of crap third world country. Want to survive? Learn Spanish! Seriously, how hard can it be? All the useful scientific and technological words are still English. Hmmmm, wonder why that could be the case. Anyway, adios, Amren amigos and amigas.

  • Shattered

    I wonder if the Supreme Court will allow the Democrats to just bus in foreigners to the polls.

    • Stentorian_Commentator

      Bader Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor will clearly answer “yes” to your question. I hope Kennedy has some good sense, and I think we can rely on Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, and Alito, but every time it’s hairy. The leftists have great discipline, and no conscience or loyalty to this country or its constitution.

  • mobilebay

    Must voters have to prove citizenship to register? Is the Pope catholic?

  • [Guest]

    In America 2.0, illegal aliens can vote, and blacks can vote six times each like Melowese Richardson.

    “Woman Votes Multiple Times in Election 2012 but Denies Voter Fraud!”


    • Paleoconn

      The Chicago Way, vote early and vote often. Just look at the defiance in this woman’s expression. Look at the contempt she has for YT reporter. ‘I will fight…for Mr. Obama, and for Mr. Obama’s right to sit in the White House’. She is fighting for Mr. Obama, wouldn’t you know. She is defending the weak and defenseless, the underdog.

      It is possible she is stupid enough to not know voting multiple times is fraud, and so her ‘not my intent to commit fraud’ may be accurate.

      Our country is upside down.

  • bigone4u

    Back in the day in Louisiana, to get your vote the local politicians would see to it that you got a truckload of mud delivered and spread on your yard, There were probably other rewards too, but I’m not sure just what form they took. The point is that voting offers many opportunities for fraud and corruption. Why wouldn’t we make it as honest as possible so that people have faith in the system. I wish I could believe the SCOTUS will rule for honesty, but I doubt it.

  • Eagle_Eyed

    I’m surprised this story doesn’t have more comments. For a nation to survive, it must at minimum have the authority to dictate how its government is run/elected. The fact any “controversy” surrounds this issue shows how far from sanity the liberal mind is.

    • Stentorian_Commentator

      I think the regular readers of this site all agree with you. It’s just that it’s all so typical now that it’s difficult to get upset. I just wish the American people in general were listening more attentively.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    This is just mind boggling. The idea that you wouldn’t need proof of citizenship to vote…I just cannot comprehend it. Liberalism really is a mental disorder.

  • cali

    We are now simply a plot of land on planet earth. We are no longer a “country”. This has been in the works a long time. Thanks to “diversity” it is being welcomed.

  • archer

    The motor voter law was designed to let “illegals” vote in the first place, that was the whole idea.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    The Supreme Court argued Monday over whether states can make people document their U.S. citizenship before allowing voting.

    I am offended that this is even questioned.

    Democrats will fight tooth and nail any attempt to stop voter fraud because that is their BASE.


    • Michael_C_Scott

      I probably could have voted while I was still on federal probation, but I didn’t. Why not? Because I wanted to get out of trouble, rather than into more of it. For my first post-conviction Presidential election, I walked all the way to my polling precinct – it took an hour – and a power outage shut the place down. I met some of my neighbors there, and they drove me to the alternate precinct. They dropped me off at the nearby supermarket on their way home. One year in California as a college undergrad, I “registered” to vote at the Pacific Garden Mall, and discovered at the polls that November (1988) that I wasn’t registered at all; my paperwork had been thrown away by the communist who “registered” me.

      When I complained, I was told a large number of people had similarly been denied, all of them white men.

      Tolerance for election misconduct defeats the purpose of democracy.

  • Paleoconn

    The world is upside down

  • Pat Kittle

    Guess how Sonia Sotomayor the self-proclaimed “wise Latina” will decide?

  • Leelywhite

    In South Africa a citizen has to produce valid ID to register on the voters’ roll, then has to produce an ID book to vote on the day. Then his finger is marked with indelible ink which takes days to wear out, to prevent duplicate votes. Why can’t it be the same in the US?


    “They say about 20 percent of those thwarted were Latino.”

    So they weren’t disproportionally represented.