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Federal court upholds Arizona voter ID requirement

[JURIST] The US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] has rejected a bid by Latino and voter-advocacy groups to temporarily halt a requirement that voters show government-issued identification to prove that they are US citizens when they register to vote. The measure, which was approved in 2004 [JURIST report] in an effort to stop voter fraud, is part of Arizona's Proposition 200 [PDF text], which also denies some state public benefits to illegal immigrants and makes it a crime for public employees to fail to report undocumented immigrants who seek benefits outlined in the legislation. Judge Roslyn Silver sided with the government, writing that "determining whether an individual is a United States citizen is of paramount importance when determining his or her eligibility to vote." Several advocacy groups, including the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and Valle Del Sol [advocacy websites], had argued [press release] that requiring identification effectively creates a poll tax on Arizona residents that cannot afford proper identification.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last year refused to block the implementation [JURIST report] of Proposition 200 in a separate lawsuit. Tuesday's Arizona Republic has more.

Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase...

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