PHOENIX – Secretary of State Katie Hobbs announced an addendum to Arizona’s Elections Procedures Manual recently, following approval from the attorney general and governor. The addendum formalizes uniform citizenship verification procedures for voter registration, bringing the manual in line with the June 18, 2018 consent decree entered in LULAC v. Reagan.
Previously, the procedures for processing voter registration applications differed depending on whether registrants used the state or federal voter registration form. Under LULAC, all registrations must be processed the same way, regardless of which form the registrant uses.
That process is now included in an update to Arizona’s Elections Procedures Manual, a document that governs all elections held in the state and that carries the force of law. Both the attorney general and the governor must approve the manual and any updates. The attorney general signed off on the changes in June, followed by the governor in July.
“These changes make sense and will make the process fairer. The same steps should be taken to handle the registration applications and verify the citizenship of all people registering to vote,” Hobbs said.
Under the updated procedure, all new voter registrations forms will be checked against Motor Vehicle Department records. If the applicant’s data matches with a valid driver’s license or non-driver ID issued after October 1, 1996, that license or ID number satisfies Arizona’s proof of citizenship requirement to qualify to vote a full ballot. If MVD records indicate that the applicant was a noncitizen, the applicant is notified that he or she must provide another form of proof of citizenship to be registered to vote. Registrants whose citizenship cannot be verified have until 5 p.m. on the Thursday before an election to submit proof of citizenship and qualify to vote a full ballot.
Applicants whose proof of citizenship cannot be verified through MVD records and who do not provide another form of proof of citizenship are registered as “federal-only” voters, if they swore or affirmed under penalty of perjury on the registration form that they are a U.S. citizen.
A copy of the addendum is available at http://go.azsos.gov/kqkp. Voter registration forms can be downloaded from http://go.azsos.gov/kg23. Eligible citizens may also register to vote online at https://servicearizona.com.