Kansas & Ariz. Fire Another Shot on Voting
(CN) - Kansas and Arizona sued the United States, demanding the right to require "concrete documentation evidencing United States citizenship" to register to vote, rather than "a mere oath that the applicant is a United States citizen."
The states sued U.S. Election Assistance Commission and its acting executive director Alice Miller, in Topeka Federal Court.
The states, both dominated by Republicans, demand that the defendants change the federal voter registration forms to require proof of citizenship. Kansas and Arizona claim the requirement would prevent illegal immigrants from voting.
"The EAC and Miller have refused to make modifications to the state-specific
instruction of the Federal Form as requested by plaintiffs, even though the proposed modifications are necessary due to changes in the state laws of the plaintiffs," the complaint states.
"Pursuant to the NVRA [National Voter Registration Act], the EAC and Miller are under a nondiscretionary duty to make the proposed modifications to the Federal Form because the proposed modifications reflect the respective voter qualification and registration laws of plaintiffs, and include state-specific instructions that enable plaintiffs to obtain information plaintiffs deem necessary to assess the eligibility of voter registration applicants and to enforce plaintiffs' voter qualifications. This action therefore seeks a writ of mandamus ordering the EAC and Miller to make the modifications to the state-specific instructions of the Federal Form as requested by plaintiffs."
It's the latest shot in a nationwide legal war over voting. Republicans claim they demand stiffer requirements, including photo ID laws, to prevent voter fraud. Democrats claim the laws and lawsuits are intended to prevent voting by minorities, the poor and the elderly.