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6/29/2012 9:51:00 PM
Arizona may be forced to accept voter registration forms without citizenship proof
By CHRISTOPHER LEONE
Cronkite News Service

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday for a lower court ruling that would stop Arizona election officials from rejecting voter registration forms that do not have evidence of citizenship.

Arizona has been requiring proof of citizenship with voter registration forms since 2005, shortly after voters passed Proposition 200. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April ruled that the proof-of-citizenship requirement conflicted with federal voter registration law.

The Supreme Court had stayed that decision earlier this month at the request of Arizona Attorney General Thomas Horne, who was planning a challenge to the lower court decision.

The justices Thursday, without comment, lifted that stay, clearing the way for the circuit court to issue an order banning the practice of requiring citizenship proof. That order is likely to come in the next week, said attorneys involved in the case.

Horne said he will go forward with his appeal to the Supreme Court. But the court begins its summer recess Friday, meaning the earliest the case could be considered is October when the justices return - if they agree to hear the case at all.

"We're going to prepare a full petition for cert (a request for an appeal), and I believe we deserve to have it granted," said Horne, adding that he planned to have the petition filed by the end of July.

Horne downplayed the fact that the Supreme Court refused to extend the stay until its October term, with only Justice Samuel Alito arguing for the stay to continue.

"That's not a consideration of the merits of the case," he said of the 8-1 decision.

But an attorney for the law's opponents said it would be hard for the state to see good news in the high court's decision.

"The 9th Circuit and now the Supreme Court has basically told them (state officials) you lose on this issue," said Jon Greenbaum, a Georgetown University law professor and one of the attorneys arguing against Arizona.

"It's hard for me to see, after the course of the decision today, the court actually granting a writ of certiorari in the case," Greenbaum said.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett said in a prepared statement Thursday that he was disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision.

"There isn't a corner of this state where people are not concerned with voter fraud," Bennett said. "Opposition to the simple act of providing proof that you are legally eligible to participate in our elections is hard to fathom."

Greenbaum said the circuit court would likely issue an order within the next week mandating that the state begin accepting voter registration forms without evidence of citizenship. Under the federal voter registration form, applicants need only check a box attesting that they are citizens.

Voters will still have to show ID verifying their identity when they turn up at a polling place, a section of Proposition 200 that the circuit court upheld.

Horne said he did not think the circuit court's order would create immediate problems, even with this being an election year.

"The problem is more of a long-term problem," Horne said. "Right now almost everybody uses the state form. We can't ask for identification on the federal form, but we can on the state form."

When asked who decides which form to use, Horne said he thought the applicant could request either one.

But Greenbaum said that Arizona should not be applying the proof of citizenship any longer. He did not make a distinction between the federal or state forms.

"In a presidential election year it's particularly significant," Greenbaum said.








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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: get real...

Republicans desperately cling to the idea that illegals sway presidential elections...or that there is wide-spread fraud being perpetrated by the democrats for their advantage. This is bogus and 2010 is a prime example...if there was really widespread voting fraud happening, as rampant as republicans would want you to believe, then the gains they made in 2010 would not have been nearly so...

People are waking up to the fact that it is republican controlled states that are acting to deny voters their constitutional rights....even though independent investigation after independent investigation has proven that fraudulent voting is almost nonexistent statically. This is a trumped up and scandalous charge against democrats, because republicans realize they are on the losing side of every group except older white males...


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Response to Lyle Sentiss

Are you even allowed to vote? Really? Did you actually read what I wrote? I simply pointed out the obvious you cannot prove you're you.

When we were all lily white it was simple enough. We just took you at your word when you registered to vote. We just let you sign up and off you went until November.

Things are different now! We don't look alike! We don't all eat roastbeef hash on Tuesday! Oh the noes! What shall we do?

So we come up with a plan to "make" everyone show their IDs to vote. Personally I don't have a problem with it UNTIL the government starts charging money for the ID. As I posted earlier, The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled many years ago that you CAN NOT put up financial barriers to people voting. You see Lyle, some of our whitey cousins didn't want those "uppity black folks" (only they didn't call them that back then) voting. They instituted a Poll Tax, making voting a luxury they couldn't afford. The Supremes struck it down Lyle.

So tell me Lyle, when you produce a birth certificate, just how do we know it's you that it's describing? How do we know you didn't steal someone else's certificate? You look more like a Paul or a Sam, Lyle. Or perhaps a Felix or Manuel? The simple point is that at some time somebody has to believe you. Just hope when it's presented that person isn't in a bad mood.

So unless you're prepared to hand each and every baby born here a national ID card with some sort of DNA or microchiping of the person, we're back to square one: you cannot prove without a doubt that you are who you say you are. Fortunately you are apparently white so people trust you.

Just the way it is Lyle. Your identity is who you say you are. Try this: take your birth certificate up to a complete stranger and ask him or her if that person on the certificate is you.


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Let the new south rise

As usual, we read the twisted, deranged thought yada yada yada, of Citi Zen. Chuckling because as informed as he is, mr, Zen does't know Comedy Central put this issue to bed weeks ago.

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Pat O'Brien

What is proof of citizenship? What documents suffice for the state to consider you a citizen? The writer of the article, not a local, is a poor journalist is a sea of them. At least it seems that way to me. Basic question I guess I will have to find out for myself.

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Citi Zen

As usual, we see the twisted, deranged thought process of the liberals on display. They strive to minimize and just plain deny any problems that result from illegal voting. They seek a system where there are no safeguards on the voting process whatsoever. Of course quite stupidly, they seem to disregard the fact that the society they want to bring to chaos is the same one they'll be living in for years to come. Such is the mind set of the liberals.

Then they claim that racism is at the basis for requiring people to have proper authorization in order to vote. They suggest that simply requiring everyone, of all races, to show proper ID before voting, is somehow a form of discrimination. It's o.k. if the bank, the DMV, law enforcement, the mortgage company, employers, the liquor store, the gun store or many other entities in society require ID. But according to the thought process of a liberal, how dare we require an ID before someone votes for the leadership of our community, state and nation?

The priviledge to vote is one of the most treasured rights of a free people. All legal citizens of this country, regardless of race, national origin or any other factor, should be allowed to vote. Asking them to show ID is a very appropriate, reasonable thing to do. The liberal agenda that drives such insane ideas as not requiring voters to simply show ID is one that all Americans must be aware of and respond to accordingly.


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: John Rollo

The only voter fraud perpetrated on the amerikan public was when the Supreme Court elected George Bush. Other than that it's all scary bogus politics coming from the right to legally distort the VOTING process. This country no longer represents a Nation of Excellence but one of Dim Wits.

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: pablo noname

Nine out of ten dead people vote Democrat!

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Lyle Sentiss ~ Response to: To Common Sense: Proof

Hey, now your thinking logically...not.!

So you are saying it does not make any difference if a person has ID or not to vote, because they could just lie about it, fake the documentation, and skip happily on their way without anyone being the wiser. Thus it is a "...leap of faith..." for someone to take documents as being factual.

Hmm-m-m-m...so by that logic you should be able to rent a video without ID, since you could fake it anyways. Yeah, I see it all now. Why should you have a drivers' license, since you could just make a fake one. Why should Obama provied any legitimate ID since he could just have it printed up at Kinko's or something regardless.

What a break thru philosophy.!

So, I guess that you have thrown away all your ID and just go to the welfare office and demand your welfare check on good faith as a citizen of the world, right.?

Your spouse don't need no stinking marriage license...its just paper. I mean why should you have a passport or library card...they should just trust you.

If you are trying to sell your house or car you will need nothing from the potential buyer in the way of ID of documentation, just a first name, since it is all on faith.

Sounds good...when are you going to throw away your documents.?


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Yep more meaningless HYPE!!! !!

Boy I have voted in every election for the past 20 yeas and NEVER have seen the masses of undocumented illegals rushing the polls. Kind of like the headless bodies all over the desert. Or maybe the drug crazed bodies lying in the streets.

More drivel from the bored and ignorant. Yep all those illegals sitting around JUST waiting to vote. I can see them planning in the atics of all those houses that they no longer occupy. They plan while waiting for those day jobs on the sides of the roads.

I kow they can not wait to manipulate the AZ elections. Just ask Russel or Joe. They are ALL over the place with their devious little spanish signs and brochures.

How rediculous!!!!


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Time for a Change

IT'S ONLY COMMON SENSE THAT YOU SHOULD BE A LEGAL, REGISTERED CITIZEN TO VOTE FOR THE COUNTRY YOU LIVE IN. CAN AN AMERICAN GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY AND VOTE???? NO. YOU NEED A DRIVER'S LICENSE TO PROVE ANYTHING IN THIS COUNTRY AND IT SHOULD BE THE SAME FOR VOTING. THE DEMS NEED AS MANY ILLEGAL VOTERS AS THEY CAN. AGAIN, THIS IS A NO-BRAINER FOR OBAMA!!!!!!

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Byte Me

Is anyone really surprised that this has come up in an election year when the Dems are willing to subvert the Constitution in a pitiful attempt to save their ever diminishing base of support? Maybe the first poster, "are we", has made a reasonable suggestion, abet unknowingly, seceed. Don't pee down my back and tell me it's raining.

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Steven Ayres

For the entire history of Arizona and the US until very recently, there was never any requirement to prove citizenship to register to vote. The result, at least as long as we've been keeping records, is no significant voter fraud. None. Claims to the contrary are counter-factual and easily debunked if you're willing to look for five minutes. The entire issue was invented to stir up voter emotions, and is the real fraud against us all, but against conservatives in particular, since they are most easily taken in by it.

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: You can't make this stuff up

Hey, you can't cheat if you actually have to be a citizen to vote.

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

I met Berry Goldwater when I was young and found him to be both reasonable and rational. What happened to Arizona's Republican party you have become hyper-nationalistic cry baby's.

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: J. Madison

Ms. in the know is right.
It's an easy thing to get the people to comply. Anybody can do that.
Trusting those same people, well, that sounds just a bit American for my taste.


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: To Common Sense:

SCOTUS has ruled a long time ago that any step put in front of a citizen that costs him money before he can vote is a poll tax. That's illegal. IF the state issued ID that cost nothing to obtain you might have a valid argument.

Telling me that the poor must get ID to collect welfare is a strawman argument. Welfare is not a constitutional right. Equal access to welfare is. There is a difference.

The problem with proving our citizenship is that ultimately we cannot do it. At some point in the process it requires a leap of faith by someone to believe your documentation. If you produce a birth certificate, it proves nothing to show YOU are the person recorderd. All it does is say a person was born on a certain day in a certain place at a certain time. It doesn't prove it's you. That requires someone to believe it's you.

Look at it seriously and think it through. I'm right and if you're honest, you'll see it.


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Lyle Sentiss

Frankly, why would we want anyone who can't speak English, is a non-citizen immigrant, or too dumb to get ID voting in the first place.?

Seems to me that ICE and the CBP should be on hand at every hospital ER and polling place to take illegals into custody for deportation when they appear to vote or receive medical care.

When a person goes to register to vote why can't a check be done right there to ensure they are not felons...it only takes a couple seconds for the system to run a generalized nationwide criminal history, just like we do to buy a firearm. If your name pops up, et voila, no vote.

I can tell you why. Were it not for the illegal voters there would not be any Democrats in office.


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Namby Pamby Liberal

What is at issue here? Can it really be the case that the Supreme Court has ruled that non-citizens can vote? Or is this merely another issue that our right-wing bloggers have misunderstood and are now making emphatic declarations about things that are not even in debate?

I wish the original article had spelled out what the issue really is.


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: DRAMA. DRAMA. DRAMA.

If you can be President of the USA without proof of citizenship, surely voting would be a natural consequence.

ACORN is laughing..ll


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Ms In the Know

Not only can you not vote in other nations without proper ID, you are not automatically a citizen just because you were born in that country. Some do allow dual citizenship but not many. Your parents must be citizens for you to be one. Our constitution was changed to make sure former slaves would have citizenship. Perhaps it is time to change that amendment.
Virtually every thing you do today requires some form of identification. It should not be a difficult thing to comply.


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012
Article comment by: Zig E.

" And another one bites the dust ". 8 to 1 in the Supreme Court. Looks like AZ is having it's A** kicked on a weekly basis. Smiles, smiles, and more smiles !

Posted: Thursday, July 05, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Lyle

A American citizen who is a felon can't vote unless he has it cleared from his record, so why should non-citizens be allowed to vote? Go to Cuba or Mexico with an I D and see what they will allow you to do. I love the song BORN IN THE U>S>A.

Posted: Monday, July 02, 2012
Article comment by: gracie xx

Have ANY of you commenters EVER been asked to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote? EVER? I have never been asked to prove citizenship in over 50 years of voting. But then, I'm a WASP, so why would anybody ask.

Posted: Sunday, July 01, 2012
Article comment by: Veritas Semper

All other civilized Nations require proof of citizenship. I guess we are just so open-hearted that we will allow our "guests" to help determine who represents us in congress. They would never vote for the party that heaps the bennys on them would they?

Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Lyle

Isn't it funny when you stand up for the laws of America the other side calls you a racist, BUT t hey can can you anything and it is NOT racist.Gee, I guess they are the smart ones. DUH!!!!!!!!!!


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