On Monday, Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill sponsored by Senator Kelly Townsend aimed at ensuring only legal, U.S. citizens should have the privilege of voting within the State of Arizona.
Townsend says her bill, SB 1013, continues her efforts to restore election integrity.
Current statute requires that in order to be eligible to vote in Arizona, a registrant must be a citizen of the United States. The United States Election Assistance Commission oversees the federal voter registration form, which does not currently contain Arizona’s proof of citizenship instructions. SB 1013 will now require the Secretary of State to submit a request to the US EAC to include Arizona’s state specific proof of citizenship instructions on the federal voter registration form by Dec. 31, 2022.
Townsend pointed out that the bill “came to fruition after the late United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote an opinion on the overturning of Prop 200. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arizona could not enforce the citizenship rule for federal-only voters. Federal-only voters avoid proving citizenship and instead affirm, under penalty of perjury, that they are citizens before registering.”
As a remedy to this issue, Justice Scalia said, “A state may request that the EAC alter the federal form to include information the state deems necessary to determine eligibility.” He further stated, “We are aware of nothing that prevents Arizona from renewing their request.” He also shared that it would be arbitrary for the EAC to refuse to include Arizona’s instruction, when it has already accepted the similar instructions requested by Louisiana.
“Justice Scalia has left a posthumous footprint on election security in Arizona, and I’m thankful his legacy can live on through this legislation,” said Senator Townsend. “After dealing with this issue for a few years, it really comes down to the fact that Secretary of State Hobbs needs to request the EAC revisit Arizona’s federal-only form issue. She has not done so, and I didn’t expect her to, as she has proven time and time again that she won’t carry out the duties of her office. It’s unfortunate that we needed to enact a law to direct her to.”