Ruling on voter citizenship proof ensnares Georgia law
by Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press
June 18, 2013 12:33 AM | 901 views | 4 4 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brian Kemp
Brian Kemp
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ATLANTA — Georgia officials said they plan to review a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down an Arizona voter-registration law requiring proof of citizenship to determine what effect it may have on a similar state law.

In its ruling, Supreme Court justices said the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 allows voters to use a federal registration form that does not require proof of citizenship, only signing an oath that they are citizens.

Supreme Court justices left open the possibility that states could still petition the federal government for permission to ask for proof, noting that the Election Assistance Commission had recently approved a request from Louisiana to require applicants who lack a driver’s license, ID card or Social Security number to attach additional documents.

Georgia’s law, passed by lawmakers in 2009, has been on hold while the state waits for the federal government to grant it access to an identification database. The law would require those registering to vote to prove citizenship with a state driver’s license, birth certificate or other approved document.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he was “very disappointed” with Monday’s ruling and pledged to work with Gov. Nathan Deal, Attorney General Sam Olens and the General Assembly on next steps.

“Rather than causing an undue burden, this requirement ensures the integrity of our voting process,” Kemp said in a statement. “Ronald Reagan said, ‘Trust, but verify.’ This is exactly what Georgia’s voter registration laws provide for.”

Lauren Kane, a spokeswoman for Olens, said the attorney general’s office was disappointed with the high court’s conclusion and was in the process of reviewing the ruling.

In addition to Georgia, three other states — Alabama, Kansas and Tennessee — have laws similar to Arizona.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented individuals and organizations affected by the law, said in a statement that an estimated 13 million people nationwide lack proof of citizenship and that 90 percent of voter registration applications that were denied in Arizona were from people born in the U.S.

“This decision reaffirms the principle that states may not undermine this critical law’s effectiveness by adding burdens not required under federal law,” Laughlin McDonald, special counsel and director emeritus of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement. “In doing so, the court has taken a vital step in ensuring the ballot remains free, fair, and accessible for all citizens.”
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anonymous
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June 19, 2013
What CAVE people (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) don't get is that America is changing. Latinos will outnumber Caucasions in less than 50 years. So will African-Americans (though I have never understood the African part of that title--how many Black people have you ever met in America that were born in Africa, thus are African-American?). Most likely, I won't be here in 50 years. I put my trust in the young people to do what is right for all of America. And I did say all. I do think all Americans should be required to speak the English language and things like that, but again, America is changing. We must change with it and make it fair for all of us that call this great nation our home. On another note, Cobb County is changing (has changed). I grew up here. Cobb County has aging parts that need to be addressed and from what I see, they are being addressed. This is not a deficiency of Cobb County. Things grow old. Things need to be revived. Things need to change. I trust our county leadership to not only bring in the new, but to protect the old.
kramartini
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June 19, 2013
This ruling renders the Federal voter registration form illegal in Arizona for any purpose other than registration for Congressional elections, since:



1. Arizona Prop. 200 disallows the use of a voter registration form that does not require proof of citizenship.



2. Prop. 200 is a validly enacted law that must be given full effect to the extent that it is not invalid or pre-empted.



3. Congress, through the "Motor Voter" act, has required that all states accept the Federal form (which does not require proof of citizenship and cannot be unilaterally altered by any state) for Congressional elections.



4. The Supreme Court has held that Motor Voter pre-empts Prop. 200.



The result is that, even though Arizona MUST accept the Federal form for registration for Congressional elections, it CANNOT accept it for any other type of election, since it does not require the proof of citizenship mandated by Prop. 200.

US law abiding citiz
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June 18, 2013
Really.....you have to ask what is wrong with signing an oath saying you are a US citizen ???

because the folks signing such a joke of a document are most likely here elligally so lying & breaking the law are 2nd nature for them. Look around , the only people conplaining about having to "prove " they are US citizens are the ones who ARE NOT. come on people lets take our country back and live by our laws and constitution.
Phillip Maloney
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June 18, 2013
"only signing an oath that they are a citizen." seriously, what is wrong with that? i was lucky, born into a good family, and enjoyed some privilege that a lot of people in this country just never experienced. i faced that a lot delivering mail for 25 years. like i said i was lucky, i could clock off and go home to my comfortable lifestyle that most of you to enjoy but hey guess what. people in this country hurt. they hurt bad and no they are not like me and you. they are different in their own unique ways but i respected them all the same. they may not have documentation because their family life suffered some turmoil like mine didnt. but like i said i was just lucky. let everybody vote. they are here and if they present themselves at the ballot box guess what they cared to show up which is better than the rest of you 75% that dont. never really didnt understand that. why people dont vote. a signed oath or affirmation should be all it takes to vote in this country. i ask myself time and time again-am i a free man or am i not. free people have a right to vote.
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