Arizona

Jul 31, 2013 6:32 PM by Associated Press

Ariz. AG Horne wants commission to OK voter proof

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne wants a federal commission to approve an Arizona requirement that people using a federal form to register to vote prove they are citizens and warned Wednesday that he will sue if the commission doesn't act.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that Arizona could not require such proof from people using the federal form. But the high court said Arizona could ask the Election Assistance Commission to approve the citizenship proof requirement. If the commission refused, Arizona could ask a federal court to overturn the commission's decision.

Horne released a letter on Wednesday to the commission saying he would sue if they didn't allow the proof requirement by Aug. 19. He noted that Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion pointed out that the commission approved similar requirements in Louisiana.

"To grant Louisiana what is denied to Arizona, would evidence inexplicable hostility to the citizens of Arizona, who passed Proposition 200 overwhelmingly," Horne wrote.

Most Arizonans use a state form that requires proof of citizenship as defined by the 2004 proposition, which includes an Arizona driver's license issued after 1996, a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or other similar document.

The Arizona law required similar proof before the state would approve the federal registration application.

But the high court's 7-2 ruling held that states were required to accept the federal form and could not adopt their own rules on their own.

Election Assistance Commission staff said Horne's letter hadn't arrived so they could not comment. The commission currently has no active commissioners. The four commissioners are supposed to be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, but the last two left in 2011, according to the panel's website.

Voting rights advocates who sued to block Arizona's law didn't immediately return calls Wednesday.

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