ID Needed at Arizona Polling Locations

Individuals hoping to vote in Arizona elections this November will likely have to bring their identification with them. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided that Arizona’s Proposition 200, a 2004 ballot initiative, was not in violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

The new ruling, however, may have missed its mark. While the measure was created in an effort to deter undocumented immigrants from voting in the elections, Arizona’s voting identification law makes it clear that officials cannot demand that voters show proof of U.S. citizenship.

The Obama administration is not happy with the decision, and is currently challenging the Ninth Circuit Court decision, and hopes to overturn their ruling.

Past problems with Proposition 200 have prevented legal citizens from voting in elections. Reuters highlighted the case of Jesus Gonzalez, a recently naturalized individual who was stopped from voting in multiple elections because state officials said they could not fully confirm his citizenship status. Therefore, this lack of proof of citizenship requirement for the newly passed law has been hailed as a victory for individuals like Gonzalez who were wrongfully stripped of their voting rights in the past.

“Today’s ruling vindicates all the U.S. citizens who were improperly rejected for voter registration in Arizona,” Nina Perales, of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told Reuters.

Identification is currently required in federal elections, so Arizona’s ruling is primarily concerned with state-level and local politics. According to National Conference for State Legislatures, 30 states currently require individuals to present some form of identification to vote in an election.  Texas and Pennsylvania are among a handful of states that have put in place voter ID laws, Reuters reported.