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Op-Ed

Kelli Ward: Governor's Signature on Election Security Law Was Barely Dry When Democrats Executed Their Plan

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This week, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill ensuring that only U.S. citizens vote in Arizona elections.

State Rep. Jake Hoffman brought House Bill 2492 to the Legislature, requiring federal-only voters, who are only eligible to cast a vote in Arizona’s federal elections, to provide proof of U.S. citizenship. Without the required documentation, they will not be eligible to vote. County recorders must also reject state voter registration applications that do not include proof of citizenship.

The new law also ensures that elections offices and county recorders have the necessary data to determine if a person registered via a federal form is a citizen or not. Under HB 2492, a person who registers with the federal form and is found to be a non-citizen can be prosecuted under existing statutes.

Some of you may ask, “Why is this even necessary?”

Arizona already prohibits anyone from voting in state elections without providing proof of citizenship. However, because of a lawsuit filed in 2017 by the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Arizona Students’ Association against then-Secretary of State Michele Reagan and a subsequent consent agreement, voters can cast what is known as a federal-only ballot, which only includes races for federal offices — president, U.S. Senate and Congress.

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The case did not clarify how local election officials were to treat federal registration applications lacking proof of citizenship. Some county recorders have been accepting federal registrations without proof of citizenship, which necessitated clarification of existing policy and law.

This is a growing problem. In 2014, there were just 21 federal-only ballots cast statewide by voters who did not provide proof of citizenship. In 2020, that number skyrocketed to 11,600. Today in Maricopa County alone, over 13,000 federal-only voters have not provided evidence of citizenship. And until now, no one has tried to find out whether they are citizens or not.

Democrats fought hard against this first-in-the-nation legislation every step of the way. Ducey signed it into law on Wednesday, and now this ridiculous practice ends in Arizona — or so we hoped.

The ink on the governor’s signature was barely dry when a liberal activist group called Mi Familia Vota filed a lawsuit to prevent the legislation from going into effect. Do not be fooled — this is a partisan sham show.

Do you support Arizona's HB 2492?

The groups and people filing this lawsuit are professional Democratic Party operatives. The attorney filing the suit is the infamous Marc Elias — Hillary Clinton’s and the Democratic National Committee’s legal hatchet man. Their actions show that they are not interested in secure elections or legitimate voter rights. Their lawsuit is a means to an end. It’s part of a national Democratic campaign to attack and erode commonsense, lawful election security measures before the next election. There’s no doubt they’ll try to rake in the big bucks fundraising off of it.

Republicans will defend against this bogus partisan lawsuit attacking election security. We will prevail in court because the Constitution is on our side. We can and should have both secure elections and high voter participation. Voter ID and proof of citizenship are fundamental building blocks of our republic.

According to a recent Monmouth University poll, Americans overwhelmingly approve of voter ID: 91 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of independents and even 62 percent of Democrats.

It’s clear: Arizona Republicans are making it easy to vote and hard to cheat, while Democrats want to strip away as many election security measures as they can, decreasing election integrity and destroying voter confidence in the electoral process of our great nation.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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