Yesterday, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) denied requests
from Arizona, Kansas, and Georgia to change the National Mail Voter Registration
Form (the Federal Form) that would require new voter registration applicants to
provide additional proof of U.S. citizenship.
“The true intent behind these states’ requested change was to disenfranchise
eligible citizens, most of whom would be citizens of color,” said Jerry
Vattamala, staff attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
(AALDEF). “Arizona, Kansas, and Georgia have histories of discrimination against
Asian Americans. No other state requires such arduous requirements and the
states requesting the change had not produced any evidence of non-citizens
registering to vote.”
The EAC decision cites to arguments advanced by AALDEF in its public
submission to the EAC against altering the Federal Form, which was
established as part of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Congress
enacted the NVRA to promote voter registration and to specifically eliminate
state-imposed voting requirements that disproportionately harmed voter
participation by racial minorities. The request by Arizona, Georgia, and Kansas
was at odds with the very purpose of the NVRA and was correctly denied.
The EAC’s decision follows the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last June striking
down Arizona’s illegal voter registration law.
“When Arizona, Kansas, and Georgia submitted requests for additional proof of
citizenship, they claimed that they wanted to protect the integrity of
elections. By denying their requests, that is exactly what the EAC has done,”
View the decision »