On Tuesday, the Biden administration sued Arizona over a law that would require voters to prove they are U.S. citizens.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the law, House Bill 2492, violates two federal statutes, said a 17-page complaint filed in federal court in Phoenix.
One statute requires states to accept federal forms to register voters, which do not require voters to prove their citizenship.
“As long as an individual completes the Federal Form and meets all its requirements, and is otherwise eligible to vote, states must register that individual to vote in all federal elections in the state, including presidential elections,” it says.
The law requires that all individuals provide “Satisfactory evidence of citizenship,” including copies of birth certificates, passports and naturalization documents. County recorders are required to reject any applicants who cannot satisfy the requirements.
The bill was passed by state lawmakers in March and signed into law by Republican Governor Doug Ducey in the same month.
“Election integrity means counting every lawful vote and prohibiting any attempt to illegally cast a vote,” Ducey said in a letter explaining his support.
State Republicans viewed the law as a massive win. State Representative Jake Hoffman, who sponsored the bill, said it was “a giant step toward ensuring elections are easy, convenient, and secure in our state.”
DOJ lawyers claim that the law violates the National Voter Registration Act, which bars state officials from requiring citizenship verification beyond a voter’s attestation. The act “specifically precludes any state requirement that an applicant seeking to register to vote using a Federal Form also submit [proof of citizenship],” the lawyers wrote.
The lawyers also claim the law violates the Civil Rights Act, which bars officials from rejecting voter applications “because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election.”
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican currently running for U.S. Senate, said Friday that he was aware the DOJ was intending to file a suit and that he planned to contest it.
“Please be assured that I will defend this law to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary,” he wrote to Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General who alerted him to the suit. Brnovich also questioned why the Biden administration “would use its resources to challenge a common sense law in Arizona designed to guard against non-citizen voting, while the Biden Administration is simultaneously opening our borders to encourage a flood of illegal immigration.”
The comment comes as record levels of illegal immigrants are crossing the United States Southern border under Biden.
Brnovich continued, “Is the federal government attempting to undermine our sovereignty and destabilize our election infrastructure? I hope that is not your intention. I strongly urge you to reconsider your pursuit of this misguided suit and to instead recognize Arizona’s constitutional authority to conduct lawful and secure elections.”