Lawsuits target newly signed Arizona voting law

Two lawsuits have been filed challenging a new Arizona law seeking to require proof of citizenship to vote.

Voting rights organizations and left-leaning advocacy groups filed the lawsuits shortly after Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed the measure into law on Wednesday.

Arizona is the only state that requires documentary proof of citizenship when registering to vote. A 2013 Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s law said anyone who registers using a federal voter registration form, which does not require documentation of citizenship, must be allowed to vote in federal elections.

The measure signed this week seeks to block those voters from voting for president or by mail. It also would require all voters to provide proof of their address when they register.

The Legislature’s own lawyers say much of the measure is unconstitutional. Still, voting rights advocates worry the bill is an attempt to get back in front of the now more conservative Supreme Court.

The precise impact is a matter of dispute. Supporters say it affects only the roughly 31,500 registered voters who have not shown proof of citizenship. Voting advocates say it’s vague and could go much farther, affecting hundreds of thousands of people who haven’t recently updated their voter registration or driver’s license.

One suit was filed by the Campaign Legal Center on behalf of several groups including Living United for Change in Arizona and the League of United Latin American Citizens. The other was filed by prominent Democratic election attorney Mark Elias on behalf of Mi Familia Vota.

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