Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL06) said that the Department of Justice lawsuit against the state of Arizona “will continue to erode the public trust in the election process." This statement followed yesterday’s announcement by the DOJ of a lawsuit against the state of Arizona to prevent it from implementing its recent election reform legislation.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a state law requiring people who use a federal form to register to vote to provide additional proof of citizenship if they want to vote for president or using the state's popular vote-by-mail system.

The Department of Justice filed suit against the state, saying the law is in direct conflict with a 1993 federal voter registration law and also violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"This action by the Biden Administration's Department of Justice will continue to erode the public’s trust in the election process and will raise public perception that fraudulent votes are being cast,” said Palmer. “My bill, H.R. 8223, the Citizen Ballot Protection Act, will fix the problem by amending the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to give states the ability to verify the citizenship status of their voters when they register. This is a commonsense solution that allows states to require proof of citizenship for something as sacred as voting.”

Palmer’s office said that in order to strengthen voter roll integrity, many states are adding proof of citizenship requirements before someone can register to vote. However, this protection does not extend to voters that register through the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) federal mail voter registration application form. This federal form is used to register to vote in federal elections and the information collected by the form is listed in the NVRA.

Because proof of citizenship is not listed as an option to add to the form, in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, the Supreme Court in 2013 held a state requirement to show proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in federal elections violates the NVRA. Without the proof of citizenship requirement, individuals must only attest under penalty of perjury that he or she is a citizen.

Palmer’s office said that the Citizen Ballot Protection Act (CBPA) would amend the National Voter Registration Act to make clear that a state may impose a proof of citizenship requirement in order to register to vote in a federal election.

The sponsor claims that the bill respects and upholds the role of states in administering federal elections, gives states the option to add more security to their voter registration process, and helps states that have proof of citizenship requirements to streamline their registration process so both their version of the federal mail voter registration form and the state’s regular voter registration form can have the same review process. The CBPA currently has 23 cosponsors and was introduced on June 24th.

According to an investigative report by ABC Channel 15 in 2016, it was possible for non-citizens to register to vote in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Democrats and the mainstream media have denounced the concept that there were irregularities in the 2020 election as “The Big Lie.”

The Justice Department announced that it has filed a lawsuit against the State of Arizona to challenge voting restrictions imposed by House Bill 2492 (HB-2492) passed in the 2022 Arizona legislative session. Biden’s Justice Department challenges provisions of HB-2492 under Section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) and Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“House Bill 2492’s onerous documentary proof of citizenship requirement for certain federal elections constitutes a textbook violation of the National Voter Registration Act,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “For nearly three decades, the National Voter Registration Act has helped to move states in the right direction by eliminating unnecessary requirements that have historically made it harder for eligible voters to access the registration rolls. Arizona has passed a law that turns the clock back on progress by imposing unlawful and unnecessary requirements that would block eligible voters from the registration rolls for certain federal elections. The Justice Department will continue to use every available tool to protect all Americans’ right to vote and to ensure that their voices are heard.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona is dedicated to protecting voters in the state,” said U.S. Attorney Gary M. Restaino for the District of Arizona. “We are proud to join the Civil Rights Division in bringing this lawsuit to ensure that all eligible citizens in Arizona have the opportunity to register to vote and exercise their fundamental right to participate in our elections.”

The United States’ complaint contends that House Bill 2492 violates the NVRA by requiring that applicants produce documentary proof of citizenship before they can vote in presidential elections or vote by mail in any federal election when they register to vote using the uniform federal registration form created by the NVRA.

Palmer’s legislation would fix the NVRA so the state cannot be sued under this act. Palmer’s legislation is unlikely to be brought up for a vote by Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California).

Palmer is in his fourth term representing Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District.

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