U.S. Department of Justice Files Lawsuit Challenging Arizona’s Proof of Citizenship Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) challenging the proof of citizenship provisions in Arizona House Bill 2492. Signed into law in March, H.B. 2492 creates new proof of citizenship requirements for voters and, according to the lawsuit, violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Specifically, the DOJ claims that the challenged provisions violate the NVRA by requiring voters who use federal voter registration forms to submit additional “burdensome documentary proof of citizenship” to vote in presidential elections or to vote by mail in any federal election. Section 6 of the NVRA “requires Arizona to ‘accept and use’ a complete and valid Federal Form to register an applicant to vote in all federal elections,” but not to request further documentary proof of citizenship. The DOJ also argues that H.B. 2492 violates the Materiality Provision of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits election officials from rejecting voter registration applications on the basis of errors that are unrelated to voters’ eligibility. 

The lawsuit cites a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, which struck down a previous proof of citizenship requirement that Arizona attempted to impose on applicants registering to vote in federal elections. The DOJ asks a federal district court in Arizona to block the enforcement of H.B. 2492. 

Read the complaint here.

Learn more about the case here.