Judge Upholds Parts of Arizona Law Requiring Voters to Prove Citizenship

Republicans and Democrats alike claimed victory days after a federal judge issued a mixed decision in Arizona’s ongoing battles over voting rights and public trust in elections, upholding requirements for voters to prove their citizenship but limiting the ways that voters could be disqualified.

The decision, issued last Thursday, dealt with two voting laws passed in Arizona in 2022 by Republican lawmakers, who said they were necessary to keep noncitizens from casting ballots. Latino voting-rights groups and the U.S. Justice Department had challenged the laws in court, saying they violated the civil rights of immigrants and minority voters.

One of the laws created new requirements for voters to provide proof of citizenship. The other required local elections officials to run checks to purge potentially ineligible voters.

In a 109-page ruling, Judge Susan R. Bolton struck down some parts of the laws while leaving major pieces standing, saying that Arizona had an interest in ensuring that noncitizens could not vote.

The ruling is unlikely to settle a furor over voting that has raged in Arizona since President Donald J. Trump narrowly lost the state in 2020. He and his supporters have assailed Arizona elections officials and the state’s popular mail-in voting system. Republican lawmakers carried out a much-criticized partisan audit of the 2020 vote in the state’s most populous county.

In general, voters already provide proof of citizenship when they register for state elections. On Monday, voting-rights groups celebrated the ruling as a win, while local elections officials were still trying to understand how it might affect how they maintain voter rolls.

Back to top button