The Supreme Court ruled today that states cannot require prospective voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using the national postcard, a federal registration system designed to make registering to vote easier, regardless of the state in which they live.
The NAACP praised the ruling: “State government should encourage voting, not discourage it,” NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement. “The Supreme Court made the right decision to strike down Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship law. We need to find innovative ways to make voting easier and more accessible for Americans, rather than coming up with new ways to suppress it.”
The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona’s voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use the federal registration form produced under the federal “Motor Voter” voter registration law.
Federal law “precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court’s majority.