By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times
A federal commission rejected three states’ requests to ask voters for proof of citizenship, issuing a complex decision Friday that said it’s up to the national government, not the states, to decide what to include on registration forms.
Under the motor-voter law, federal officials distribute voter-registration forms in all of the states. Arizona, Kansas and Georgia all asked that those forms request proof of citizenship, but the federal Election Assistance Commission rejected that in a 46-page ruling.
The EAC said states can check driver’s license databases or ask federal immigration authorities for information, but they cannot tell the federal government what to include on federal forms.
“The EAC finds that granting the States’ requests would likely hinder eligible citizens from registering to vote in federal elections, undermining a core purpose of the NVRA,” the commission said in its ruling, referring to the National Voter Registration Act, or motor-voter law.
But Justice Antonin Scalia also specifically said Arizona could ask the EAC to include the request on forms distributed in that state, and said if the EAC refused, the state could come back to the courts.