According to the court’s decision, states cannot require voters to prove they are American citizens because it violates a 1993 federal law that allows people to register to vote through a single form accepted by all states in which voter’s “swear” they are citizens of the United States.
By a 7-2 vote, the justices determined that Arizona’s voter requirement that prospective voters document their United States citizenship in order to use the registration form under the federal “Motor Voter” voter registration law is illegal.
Fox News explains the issue at the heart of the case:
The federal "motor voter" law, enacted in 1993 to expand voter registration, requires states to offer voter registration when a resident applies for a driver's license or certain benefits. Another provision of that law — the one at issue before the court — requires states to allow would-be voters to fill out mail-in registration cards and swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it doesn't require them to show proof. Under Proposition 200, Arizona officials require an Arizona driver's license issued after 1996, a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or other similar document, or the state will reject the federal registration application form.
The court determined that while Arizona may ask the federal government to include extra documents as a state-specific requirement, the state cannot make such changes to voter laws on their own.
Federal law "precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court's majority.
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