PHOENIX, AZ – On March 23rd, Arizona lawmakers approved a bill that will help ensure that only United States citizens will be able to vote within the state. The legislation has since been handed off to Governor Doug Ducey, where it awaits his signature. Democrats, of course, are not pleased.
The bill in question is HB 2492, and the takes on what it accomplishes are divided between Republicans and Democrats in Arizona. Republicans generally proclaim that HB 2492 helps keep elections secure by thoroughly vetting voters’ citizenship status, while Democrats allege that it is somehow discriminatory.
Arizona is reportedly one of a handful of states that already require would-be voters to present proof of citizenship prior to them registering to vote, however, there exists somewhat of a workaround.
Reportedly, Arizona residents are able to circumvent those proof of citizenship requirements outlined by the state via simply registering for a federal-only ballot, a method afforded under the National Voter Registration Act.
What that means is that a resident of Arizona can still participate in federal elections while bypassing guardrails established in the voter registration process in Arizona.
This is where HB 2492 comes into play, in that the legislation would compel counties to check the citizenship of individuals attempting to register for a federal-only ballot against multiple databases. And in the event a county finds someone isn’t a citizen, they must in turn reject the federal-only ballot application – or face a potential Class 6 felony if they knowingly disregard the requirement.