SCOTUS says Arizona must "accept and use" federal voter registration form.

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States made it much more difficult for Arizona to disenfranchise voters. In 2004, Arizona voters approved a law which required election officials to reject any voter registration that was not accompanied with proof of citizenship. The Supreme Court struck down that law, saying that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 forbids states from demanding additional information beyond what the federal voter registration form requires.

According to the Voter Registration Act, states must “accept and use” the federal form for voter registration, which requires the potential voter to affirm they are a United States citizen, and they are over the age of 18. Arizona argued that the “accept and use” wording in the Act, only required a state to “receive” the federal form, not consider it as a valid registration. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the court opinion, which stated “Determining what qualifications a voter must possess is the province of the States. Arizona is correct that it would raise serious constitutional doubts if a federal statute prevented a State from obtaining the information necessary to enforce its voter qualification. But to avoid those doubts it is not necessary to give “accept and use” a meaning that allows Arizona to deny sufficiency of the Federal Form.”

Justice Scalia did, however, write that Arizona could pursue a “proof of citizenship” measure, by requesting the Federal Election Assistance Commission include the requirement on the federal form. Scalia essentially said that if the Commission failed to act on Arizona's request, that state would have the grounds to bring another court challenge. For now, it appears that Arizona won't be able to disenfranchise voters by requiring additional citizenship documentation. However, it's doubtful that the Republican-led state will suddenly stop its efforts to keep as many voters as possible away from the polls.

Comments

mathewH's picture
mathewH 9 years 25 weeks ago
#1

I am glad that SCOTUS was able to see through Arizona's attempt to disenfranchise the voters that they didn't want to vote. Now some of the other states, such as Florida, that have laws limiting voting hours and voter registration need to follow suit. This nation was founded on a government that is run for and by the people of this country, so by allowing the disenfranchisment of voters we are potentially jeapordizing the future of this country because we are limiting the power that we as citizens have to alter our government. Good job to SCOTUS, today is a good day for freedom and the rights of the American People!!

ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 25 weeks ago
#2

Does this auger well for reining back on gerrymandering federal electoral districts so that election results more closely reflect votes cast?

firedancer's picture
firedancer 9 years 25 weeks ago
#3

Arizona lawmakers are proud of their aggressive stance on denying Americans of their constitutional rights, especially when those rights go against the 'moral' grain of the far (women's reproductive rights) right Republican/Tea-bagger/religious right, or, just simply being on the list of probably Democratic voters. No, the political 'right' won't stop with a mere tap on the wrist by the Conservative right Supreme Court Justices. They are hell-bent for political glory and 'ain't nobody, no-where, no-how, gonna get in their way. The only answer is for Democratic politicians to grow a back-bone and stop allowing Republican Congressional gerrymandering.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 9 years 25 weeks ago
#4

Republicans merely want to surpress the vote because there are too many Democrats for them to win unless they cheat. Even if they lose a few Republicans by this surpression, they eliminate even more Democrats because there are so many more Dems. If the rank and file of the Republican understood how "undemocratic" their Party leaders are behaving, they would leave the Party. Americans, whether Democratic leaning or Republican leaning are for fairness, honesty, and integrity. However, the leaders in the Republican Party will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means destroying the democratic process.

rgruenhaus's picture
rgruenhaus 9 years 25 weeks ago
#5

Is a Florida driver's license a proof of citizenship? So I should not have to show that to vote? With no proof of citizenship even visiting people from other countries can vote here, right? Isn't proof of citizenship needed to be registered and if a person is not registered you want them to vote anyway?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#6

Bravo for SCOTUS! Finally, they are looking out for the people. Speaking about looking out for We the People--Bravo to Edward Snowden! Let's return that favor and sign this petition to pardon his recent whistle blowing actions:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-edward-snowden/Dp03vGYD

Meanwhile, I recently posted this in praise of another petition being circulated by Representative Alan Grayson (D-Florida). Please sign this one as well. The privacy you save may be your own.

As it was written:
Quote DAnneMarc:Representative Alan Grayson (D-Fl) is passing around this petition to repeal the NSA spying program and restore The Constitution:

http://mindyourownbusinessact.com/?source=Jun13Email

I urge everyone to sign it immediately. This spying technique makes me feel less safe.The intelligence community pre-911 had done its job and provided President Bush in ample time all the information he needed to prevent that attack. They knew who, where and how. 911 happened because President Bush chose to ignore that intelligence. We don't need this illegal, unconstitutional, ridiculous and indiscriminate mass collection of data. No Government agency, or private company, or system of computers is capable of making heads or tails out of all this mostly garbage information. Garbage in garbage out. Meanwhile this poses a serious threat to the security of the nation by telling would be terrorists that they cannot communicate remotely. This drives them off the radar chart completely. In addition, it ties the hands of our investigators by making them look for a needle in a haystack instead of focusing on probable cause and likely suspects. Eventually, because of ignoring The Constitution and trying to do their job the easiest way possible, we will be hit again. It is only a matter of time. This nonsense will not work to defend our nation and will only accomplish destroying The Constitution and the rule of law--the only thing this nation really has of timeless value. Destroying our Constitution, fundamental principles of human rights, and our way of life is the most damage any terrorist can ever hope to achieve! Yet, we are doing that for them!

Like President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said and we keep forgetting, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!"

- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2013/06/senator-elizabeth-warren-stands-us-again#sthash.sNwjF4ZD.dpuf

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#7

Wow! Since I seem to be on a roll of repeating myself, please allow me to repeat myself. This is in response to the notion what we might do to repeal all this unwarranted "Hoovering" that the NSA is engaged in. People want to read meaningful solutions more than complaints. Here's a solution that blends in perfectly with this blogs main topic. Enjoy:

As it was written:
Quote DAnneMarc:Fortunately, there is a better plan that is already in place and ready to deal with just this kind of a problem. You may have heard of it. It is called The Constitution. Patient insistence on adhering to the document that all our representatives have already sworn an oath to protect and defend is the most powerful and effective tool we have at our disposal to remedy the situation at hand. You may interpret the word "insistence" as you wish. A class action lawsuit against the United States government that goes all the way to the Supreme Court might be a good idea. We the People vs The United States Government. Catchy name, isn't it? How much is your privacy worth to you?

The writing is already on "The Wall!"

- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2013/06/senator-elizabeth-warren-stands-us-again#sthash.sNwjF4ZD.dpuf

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 9 years 25 weeks ago
#8

I live in Southern Arizona (Gabby's district, near Tucson). All I can say is there is a lot of bigotry that serms to emenate from the crowds that moved to Arizona from northern areas. These folks don't appear to be adjusting well to the indigenous environs, the Historic Arizona that encompasses Mexican and Southwest cultures. Southern Arizona fares better than the densely populated Phoenix area.

http://tucsoncitizen.com/view-from-baja-arizona/2011/03/21/baja-arizona-...

^There's a movement to divide our beautiful State in two, the lower part becoming the 51st State, "Baja Arizona." There is such a disconnect from the north which is way more conservative and focused on differences, or blinded to differences in the case of dropping Mexican/Hispanic studies in our public schools. I love the Mexican and Native American influences down here, which are great. This area has a flavor and magic all its own and is a wonderful place to live.

There are forces here that will go against the disenfranchisement of our people(s).

Intermittent Instigator's picture
Intermittent In... 9 years 24 weeks ago
#9

(not to ignore any particular Arizona-style BS, but) Our entire election system should be seen as a national disgrace and embarassment.... Diebold... "Citizens United"... two-party stranglehold... criminal voter supression, voter disenfranchisement, and Secretaries of State... gerrymandering... the Electoral College... low voter turnout... (at the very least, uniform standards state to state and precinct to precinct ought to be expected). We should be able to do much, much, much, better.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 24 weeks ago
#10

So if I understand this properly, as a Canadian with a home in Arizona. All I have to do is get a drivers licence and I could vote. If that is correct does that only seem stupid to me.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 24 weeks ago
#11

Kend ~ Yes Kend! Many things only seem stupid to you. That is the price you pay for being so special! Have you ever applied for a drivers license in any American state? When you do--if you do--you will learn that you need to provide documentation as to your status of citizenship. Your birth certificate as well as your social security number are standard requirements. A drivers license or state ID is more than representative of conclusive official verification of citizenship. Didn't you already know that?

Intermittent Instigator's picture
Intermittent In... 9 years 24 weeks ago
#12

A L A N G R A Y S O N 2013,'14,'15,'16... !!!

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 24 weeks ago
#13

No i didn't DAnne M that's why it seemed so stupid. So what's the big deal then. Oh by the way you don't have to provide anything here to get a drivers licence you just have to pass the test. So are you saying that if you are not a US citizen you can't get a drivers license there.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 24 weeks ago
#14

Kend ~ No you can't. No driver's license. No state ID. No bank account. No bank loan, auto insurance, or ability to legally cash a check. You have no redress for any complaint, no ability to pay rent, pay utilities, or, even pay for water services. You are totally screwed. If you do any of these thing you do so illegally and are always looking over your shoulders. The idea that an illegal can vote in any election with impunity is ridiculous. If you doubt me--please try! DAM

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 9 years 24 weeks ago
#15

After reading some of the comments about proof of citizenship Metadata concepts seemed to chime in to me. Some of the sifting done by massive Metadata manipulation is supposed to be able to isolate who, what, where, or when for millions of Americans in analysis to generate a report. It is ideal for not only for security in war, but a huge advantage in marketing watching consumer trends.

Moreover, it is interesting and very powerful information that can be abused in political applications. If this has been done by a political party or business entity such as in electronic journalism, Americans can say with confidence the Constitution has been breached.

What jumps out to me is if these Metadata algorithms have been carried over from the government sector, to the private sector. What is really sweet is the concept that those secret NSA programming algorithms are benched marked in real time adding to a no risk business startup. Here many can understand why Republicans like to privatize. Here it stands out obviously American tax dollars are used secretly to develop such application under the disguise of national security. Then quietly transferred to the public sector never known because of that term called the Business trade secret!

Very compelling government social structure which is a failed integrity yet appears to be too big to fail. An extraordinary way to sack the government by intellectuals with intention where it would not fail as long the program can relate to national security. My hunch, this has been as routine as those congressional people move from an elected office into a lobbyist. Many can wonder where those Contract NSA people go. Likely go somewhere for the best price. Remember money talks and Metadata concepts are shouting pretty loud right now.

arstarobin's picture
arstarobin 9 years 24 weeks ago
#16

Voting is a right that should be added to the Constitution. My house rep Mark in Congress from Madison Wisconsin has trying to add Voting is a right that Congress should pass and let the people in the states vote on to add to the constitution.

Amy is Madison Wisconsin

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 24 weeks ago
#17

That is not true, I have a address, a bank account, cable, phone and power bills, auto insurance and US checks. I received all of them no problem, As a Canadian. I am told all i have to do is pass a test to get a drivers licence in AZ. Looking over their shoulder? They jumped a fence to get there they don't care about voting it is the last thing on their mind.

Oh by the I have no desire to vote down there I am a Canadian and proud of it. This is where I vote. I just go down there like hundreds of thousands of Canadians to get out of the cold for a while.

But I still don't understand. What is the big deal. All AZ is trying to do, is trying to stop illegals from voting, what is wrong with that? dAnnemarc you wouldn't want me voting down there would you? Oh by the way I can only be out of my country 6 months of the year because I live in a country with government health insurance they get to decide things like that for me, don't you just love socialism.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 24 weeks ago
#18

KEND, Like all irrational NeoConservativeNazi's there is no way for anyone to explain to you "what the BIG deal is"...You're just too greedy to get it!

And yes I do like the philosophy of Socialism, as well as Democracy, Communism, and Anarcism...Its just unfortunate that in a capitalistic system"most" of society is to ignorant to understand how these systems are truely suppose to opperate, and the bennefits they can offer when not abused. Most people describe Communism to that of the Stalin era of Russia; which was more a Totalitarian oligarc dictatorship (Hmmm sound framiliar???)...Which has NOTHING to do with what Marx and Engles wrote and spoke about.
Sadly enough "Americanism" has taken over, and capitalized on creating a culture of false securities and tawdry commercialized values; abuseing Capitalism to the point of ruin; proving that without stricked well enforced regulations capitalism creates poverty and class warfare.

I could care less if "you" were allowed to vote here...Your no brighter than those that voted for Romney or Obama!

Cheers

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 24 weeks ago
#19

Kend ~ Are you comparing yourself to an illegal immigrant? Then I assume you snuck over the US Canadian border without a passport? If you come here legally you can get everything you mentioned quite easily. However, if you are not a citizen you are not entitled to vote and it will say so on all your documentation. If you have no documentation you cannot get a bank account, write checks, or cash checks. Everything has to be done in cash. Now there are exceptions. You can get falsified documents or genuine documents if you know someone in the DMV for example. None of these are legal and all can be verified quite simply. The penalty for carrying falsified documents is worse than being an illegal. That is why most illegals do it the hard way. Checks can be cashed without ID's at check cashing establishments for a huge fee. The cash is then usually wired out of the country to be deposited in the illegals hometown abroad.

Are you trying to tell me you opened a bank account without any documentation? You bought a house and got a drivers license without any kind of documentation? Wow! No wonder Arizona has so many problems. The state government must be run by a bunch of monkeys with their heads up their a$$. Here in California we have to show a valid SSN and a valid birth certificate in order to obtain a drivers license as well as pass an eye, written, and driving test. A friend of mine who is not a citizen but is here legally got a drivers license but had to show all the same documentation as well as their green card. The fact that they cannot vote is stated on the license. In addition, we are all required to register to vote. That registration is verified and recorded. We are sent registration cards and ballots in the mail to our recorded address. We are all assigned a voting place that is sent a copy of all the registered voters and their information prior to voting. We are only allowed to vote at our pre selected location, or by return mail. When we show up to vote we show our legal ID and they match that ID to the information on the recorded registration. We use the ballot sent in the mail that has a serial number which matches our name. Even so, we have to sign the ballot as well for it to be counted. The signature, address, name, SSN, and ballot serial number all have to match up. If the name and address don't match the registered information we can't vote. It's that simple and it's already idiot proof.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 24 weeks ago
#20

Kend ~ Obviously you seem to think that anyone can get a driver's license; and, anyone with a driver's license can walk into a voting place and say, "I want to vote, give me a ballot." No! That doesn't work. It's far more involved than that. It is not that simple to get a drivers license. You have to show legal documentation. Even with a drivers license you have to register to vote. You have to provide accurate information in that process and follow the instructions. Your information will be verified; and, if you falsify anything you go to jail. Why would any illegal go out of their way, risk jail, just to have a slight impact on any election. The vast majority of illegals just want to honestly earn as much cash as they can to send it home to help their families live better lives. Most illegals want to draw as little attention to themselves as possible. Please stop listening to propaganda from poorly informed and dishonestly motivated sources.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While