Skip to comments.Morning Bell: 3 Things You Should Know About the Supreme Court and Voter ID
Posted on 06/18/2013 7:39:27 AM PDT by EXCH54FE
Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down one of its first major decisions of this term, striking down Arizonas measure requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration. Media reports are already off base in interpreting this decision, says Heritage legal expert Hans von Spakovsky. Here are three things to know about the decision.
1. This is not a voter ID decision.
This decision has to do with voter registration, not the act of voting. Von Spakovsky explains:
In 2004, Arizona voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum that had two major components: voter ID for in-person voting and a requirement that anyone registering to vote provide proof of citizenship. The voter ID provision was not before the Supreme Court and is alive and well in Arizona. (emphasis added)
Although it did not strike down the provision that requires a photo ID for in-person voting, von Spakovsky said the Supreme Court came down on the wrong side of election integrity with this ruling.
2. Federal law already mandates that a person must be a U.S. citizen to vote.
The Courts ruling does not mean that requiring proof of citizenship is bad or wrong. In fact, people are supposed to vote only if they are citizens.
The Court ruled the way it did because there is already a federal law requiring people to affirm that they are U.S. citizens when they register to vote. Most people register using the federal mail-in form under the Motor Voter law. The majority of the justices said that federal requirement preempts Arizonas requirement, which simply means the federal law comes first.
But Arizona residents can register to vote using the federal form or a state form. Von Spakovsky notes that Arizona can continue to require proof of citizenship for anyone who registers using the state form.
3. States do determine the qualifications of their voters.
If Arizona has information about a voter that shows he or she is not eligible to vote, then the state still decides who is a legitimate voter.
Von Spakovsky says:
The Court specifically noted that under our Constitution, states have the exclusive right to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections, and Arizona can deny registration to anyone who submits a federal form if it has other information in its possession that establishes the ineligibility of the applicant.
Making sure that only U.S. citizens are voting is vital to the integrity of American elections. This Supreme Court decision basically kept the status quo, and meanwhile, voting reforms are needed.
No, it’s bad.
If I understand what this article says, people can register to vote using the federal form and lie about their citizenship (or can register in the names of other people altogether). Then they can vote absentee, as an increasing number of voters do, and there is no way to check their eligibility.
It sounds like it is really bad.
The reality for this decision is a big fat zero for the left.
What it does is affirms states rights and the supremacy of federal law that pertains to federal issues.
What this means is that for Arizona they simply only need to require that the state form be completed along with the federal form to vote.
Thus in order to vote in Arizona you must be a registered voter in Arizona. Simply saying your registered at the federal level doesn’t let you get a ballot to vote. Remember you vote for the person for federal office in your district or state administered by the state/local election board.
The lede of the news reports makes it sound like Arizona lost, but really they didn’t. It just means that in order to be eligible to vote they simply require they be eligible to vote in Arizona and have a Valid ID.
Game, Set, Match!
I don't think the government has the resources or the will to follow through with investigating those who are not honest.
When someone registers to vote, they can use the federal form or the state form.
Scalia noted that if the FEDERAL form is used, then the state of Arizona cannot trump federal law and require proof of citizenship.
However, Scalia protected the right of the state of Arizona to require proof of citizenship when the STATE form is used to register to vote.
Here is why the left lost big:
The state of Arizona doesn’t have to promote the use of the federal forms.
They can put the state form on-line, stock the registrar’s offices with state forms, etc. The federal forms can sit in a storeroom and gather dust.
And the state of Arizona retains the right to refuse a registration if they have proof that a potential voter is not a citizen.
Youre so smart, everyone else is dumb. You must be one of the “AMERICA IS DEAD” guys huh? Take your pills, listen up, you may learn something.
So basically the Federal form says are you a US citizen and you say “Si”. :-)
Yeah, everything is just rosey. Silly me.
They don't even have to have a suspicion - they can legally just go on a fishing expedition with no 4th amendment protection requiring probable cause.
But the state cannot require someone to prove they are legally eligible to vote before they can register to vote. So even illegals can register to vote as long as they are willing to lie and can fill in the registration form with realistic sounding information.
From the article:
"The Court ruled the way it did because there is already a federal law requiring people to affirm that they are U.S. citizens when they register to vote."
There are also laws against crossing into the US illegally and living here illegally but that hasn't stopped somewhere between 11 million and 35 million illegals from doing just that.
So the legal protection to maintain the integrity of the voting process is essentially an "honor system" - illegals can register without having to prove they are eligible.
Once they are registered to vote they can be required to provide ID to prove they are the person who previously registered to vote, even though that person may not actually be legally eligible to vote.
So the state can only challenge a voter if it appears they are not the person previously registered, but the state can not require proof of eligibility to vote except as follows:.
"The Court specifically noted that under our Constitution, states have the exclusive right to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections, and Arizona can deny registration to anyone who submits a federal form if it has other information in its possession that establishes the ineligibility of the applicant.".
Rather than protecting the integrity of the voting system it appears the Supreme Court is more interested in maintaining a process designed to make it easy for an illegal to register and difficult for the state to challenge their eligibility.
“It sounds like the Federal law regarding registration makes a HUGE assumption that people are honest when they state they are a US citizen on the registration form.”
I think the Founding Fathers were hoping fr that in the “leaders” who would take this country forward. I guess they wrote the Constitution just in case they were wrong.—and, boy, were they wrong in their assumption!
This is the clearest explanation I have seen. My question what is the recourse within a state when a person affirms on the federal form to be a citizen and they are not? With the case in Indiana where the woman is going to jail, the damage is already done.
More right than not. They are protecting those whom sign their paychecks...Big Gov’t.
Already AZ has issues w/ Fedzilla re: illegals; but on this issue (as it clearly stands outside of the Fed perview: all voting is by State) they’re just going to have to trust ‘em??
How’s that not a boon for the Left again, per some on FR?
I believe you are mistaken. I believe that the Federal form can be used to register people to vote in the Federal elections, for the electoral congress (e.g., President), for Senators and for US representatives. Arizona, or any state, can only limit registration in the context of elections for state or local positions.