The Arizona House on Monday passed legislation that would ensure citizens are only registered to vote in the state’s elections and are able to prove their citizenship upon registration.
Potential Arizona voters would be required under House Bill 2492 to present a form of identification within 30 days of registering to vote.
It adds a requirement that voters include their date of birth and early voting number along with their signature on their return ballots. Voters currently just sign their name, and county officials compare that to signatures they have on file with verified voter registration documents.
The bill if signed into law would also prevent an in-person voter from presenting two documents, such as a water or tax bill, if they do not have their identification.
Voters would be required to include their place of birth and a verified residence address.
“Non-citizens should never be allowed to vote in American elections, yet shockingly nearly 12,000 people voted in the 2020 general election for federal office without any proof of U.S. citizenship,” sponsor of the bill Republican Rep. Jake Hoffman told the Arizona Daily Independent.
“For years we’ve heard Democrats spin wild conspiracy theories about foreign influence on our elections, but today when they had the chance to prevent it, every single Democrat voted against preventing non-citizens from influencing our elections,” he said.
“Republicans at the Capitol are fighting like hell to protect the integrity of Arizona’s elections with bills like HB2492, so that voters can have confidence that every legally cast ballot matters,” added Hoffman.
“I don’t see what’s wrong with this. I really don’t,” said Republican Rep. Walt Blackman of Snowflake. “Because all it’s doing is protecting our election and the process.”
Democrats meanwhile say the measure is part of an effort to suppress voting in the battleground state.
Democrats noted that a similar Texas law that passed last year has led to hundreds of valid mail ballot requests being rejected. Democratic Rep. Mitzi Epstein of Tempe said the rejection rate had jumped from 10 percent to 35 percent.
“It is a problem to take multiple pages of voting instruction and reduce it to ‘voter ID,’” Epstein said. “That’s not what this bill is.”
Hoffman said that the number of people using the federal form without providing proof of citizenship had jumped between 2018 and 2020.
“So clearly this is a trend that is increasing,” Hoffman said. “This bill ensures that there is maximum flexibility to provide documentary proof of citizenship, but we don’t want foreign interference in our elections.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.