When it comes to voter registration, the federal government trumps all jurisdictions. That was the ruling the U.S. Supreme Court issued today in the voter ID case known as Gonzalez v. Arizona.
At issue was an Arizona law that would have required potential eligible voters to prove their citizenship in order to register to vote. The federal government, however, requires no such provision. In a decisive 7–2 opinion, handed down by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court said that federal law “forbids states to demand an applicant submit additional information beyond that required by the federal form.”
We’re especially pleased with the Court’s decision to stand with the voters. The Arizona law would have placed unnecessary additional burdens on eligible Latino voters as well as other minorities by requiring them to register in person. Many of these eligible voters often don’t have access to vehicles or they simply live too far from the registrar’s office. Today’s decision protects those eligible voters from having their voices suppressed.
“We applaud the Supreme Court for today’s ruling, which ensures that all eligible potential voters have equitable access to the voting process. Minorities, the young, and the elderly would have been disproportionately impacted if the law were allowed to stand. This is precisely why the Motor Voter Act was enacted over two decades ago to prevent such inequities,” said our Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement.