PHOENIX - Nearly 5 years to the day after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling set up a dual-track system of elections in Arizona, the state has settled a related lawsuit and has ensured each applicant’s eligibility to participate in state or federal elections will be verified before the individual’s registration becomes active.
The bifurcated voting system arose out of a conflict between a 2004 voter approved ballot initiative requiring proof of citizenship when registering and a Supreme Court decision that mandated the state process individuals who register to vote with a federal form without establishing citizenship.
The lawsuit filed by the League of United Latin American Citizens and Arizona Students’ Association, claimed the state’s voter registration process was unduly burdensome, was formally settled on June 4.
“We’ve worked hard to settle this lawsuit and are extremely pleased with the result,” said Secretary Reagan. “The registration system will now verify the eligibility of each and every person who has yet to provide evidence of citizenship. With this agreement in place we’ll have confirmed an individual’s eligibility before issuing them a ballot with any state elections listed. While the Supreme Court has ordered Arizona to allow people who have not provided such proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections, it’s a relief the system will now proactively verify eligibility for all applicants.”
“We’ve always said that it should be easy to vote and hard to cheat,” continued the Secretary. “I’m proud to say this compromise achieves both. Voters will now have the clarity they need along with a heightened level of election integrity.”