The Arizona Legislature passed a bill on March 23 that would ensure only U.S. citizens with proof of identification are eligible to register to vote in the state.
The bill requires that every voter be a citizen of the United States and able to provide satisfactory evidence of such. The legislation states that the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections must reject any application for registration that isn't accompanied by satisfactory evidence of citizenship.
"The Attorney General shall prosecute individuals who are found to not be United States citizens," the bill states, referring to noncitizens who attempt to register to vote.
Democrats say the measure is part of an effort to suppress voting in the battleground state.
Testifying March 23 on why House Bill 2492 should become state law, Republican Sen. Warren Petersen, chairman of the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee, said it would bolster election integrity.
“The issue is making sure the citizens of our country are voting … and if you’re not a citizen of this country, you’re not allowed to vote,” 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.”
Hoffman also 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,” he 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.”