Ruling lets states require proof of citizenship from anyone who registers to vote

Election commission can’t stop voter ID laws

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“On one hand, the ITCA decision acknowledges the broad scope of Congress‘ power under the Elections Clause, which includes the authority of the NVRA to preempt state law regarding voter registration,” the judge wrote. “But the ITCA opinion also emphasizes the states’ exclusive constitutional authority to set voter qualifications — which Congress may not preempt — and appears to tie that authority with the power of the states to enforce their qualifications.”

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett said the ruling will help clean up voter rolls. About 2,000 people have submitted federal forms in the state but haven’t proved their citizenship, he said.

“With this filing and with this ruling, we have accomplished what we felt was the desire of Arizona voters all along,” Mr. Bennett said.

Wednesday’s ruling was focused on election law, but it comes in the middle of a thorny national debate about U.S. immigration laws. A number of states have pushed for stricter enforcement from the Obama administration and the right to help enforce federal immigration principles.

Mr. Kobach has been at the forefront of those efforts.

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