ACRU

ACRU Applauds Ruling on Citizenship for Voting

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“It’s refreshing when a federal judge cites the Constitution as it was written, not in a way that distorts it to create an opposite meaning,” says ACRU Chairman Susan A. Carleson.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 21, 2014) —- In a victory for election integrity, a federal judge has ruled that Arizona and Kansas can require people registering to vote to prove their U.S. citizenship, and the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) cannot block them.

The two states had asked the EAC to include the citizenship proof requirement on federal registration forms in those states to make them consistent. The EAC declined to approve the request and the U.S. Justice Department argued on the EAC’s behalf.

On Wednesday, Judge Eric F. Melgren of the U.S. District of Kansas ruled against the EAC, citing the Constitution’s granting of power to the states to set election requirements.

“It’s refreshing when a federal judge cites the Constitution as it was written, not in a way that distorts it to create an opposite meaning,” says ACRU Chairman Susan A. Carleson.

On Dec. 14, 2012, the ACRU filed a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona v. The Intertribal Council of Arizona in support of Arizona’s Proposition 200, which requires prospective voters to provide satisfactory evidence of citizenship to register to vote.

The brief notes that Article I, Section 4, says: “The Times, Places and Manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof….”

Although the Court ruled last year that Arizona couldn’t reject federal forms, which don’t require proof of citizenship, it strongly hinted that if states asked the EAC to include the requirement on forms in those states, the EAC should acquiesce.

“We applaud this ruling,” Mrs. Carleson said. “Asking people for proof of citizenship before registering to vote is a common-sense protection against vote fraud.”