WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Sept. 8, a federal court temporarily blocked the implementation of Arizona House Bill 2243 by approving an agreement between the Arizona Asian American Native Hawaiian And Pacific Islander For Equity Coalition (AZ AANHPI for Equity Coalition) and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D). This order comes after the AZ AANHPI for Equity Coalition filed a lawsuit last month challenging H.B. 2243 along with one other voter suppression law, House Bill 2492. Today’s agreement only focuses on H.B. 2243, which requires county recorders to cancel a voter’s registration if they receive information that a voter is not qualified to vote or if the county officials have a “reason to believe” that a voter is not a U.S. citizen. This decision means that during the 2022 election season, Arizona voters will not have to worry that their registrations could be canceled simply because a county recorder suspects that an individual is not a U.S. citizen.
The plaintiffs in the case allege that both H.B. 2243 and H.B. 2492 (which creates strict proof of citizenship requirements in order to be eligible to vote) violate:
- the First and 14th Amendments by burdening the right to vote,
- the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by treating voters differently depending on which type of form they use to register,
- Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by discriminating against national origin,
- the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment by failing to provide voters a notice and opportunity to contest or cure lack of citizenship information or misinformation,
- the 14th and 15th Amendment by discriminating on the basis of race,
- the Materiality Provision of the Civil Rights Act because birthplace is not material “to whether a registrant is qualified to vote,” and
- the National Voter Registration Act by failing to comply with federally mandated registration procedures.
Litigation in this case will continue, but H.B. 2243 will remain blocked during the 2022 election cycle.