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Federal judge refuses to block Arizona voter ID law

[JURIST] US District Judge Roslyn Silver on Monday refused to prevent enforcement of an Arizona law requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID [AZ Sec. State materials] or two non-photo forms of identification before casting a ballot. The measure, which also requires voters to show proof of citizenship, was approved in 2004 [JURIST report] in an effort to stop voter fraud and is part of Arizona's Proposition 200 [PDF text]. Tuesday's primary will be the first statewide test of the new photo ID rules.

Advocacy groups have been unsuccessful in having the law overturned on the grounds that it will disenfranchise some voters, especially minorities and the elderly. In June, Silver rejected a bid [JURIST report] by Latino and voter-advocacy groups to temporarily halt the ID requirements, writing that "determining whether an individual is a United States citizen is of paramount importance when determining his or her eligibility to vote." 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.

Photo ID requirements have also been the subject of litigation in other states. A federal judge in Missouri heard arguments [JURIST report] late last month in a lawsuit challenging a Missouri law [SB 1014 summary; text, PDF] requiring voters to show photo identification [Missouri Dept. Revenue backgrounder] before being permitted to vote. In April, a federal court in Indiana upheld [JURIST report] a law [PDF text] requiring voters to present a government-issue photo ID at the polls. A Georgia revision [SB 84 materials] of a voter ID law was again blocked from enforcement [JURIST report] in July. A previous version [PDF text] of the law was blocked by a federal judge last year [JURIST report] because it discriminated on the basis of the voters' ability to pay for the ID, thereby functioning as a poll tax. AP has more. The Arizona Republic has local coverage.

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