Arizona Proposition 200 (Gonzalez v. Brewer)

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of a provision in Arizona's Proposition 200, a 2004 anti-immigrant law, that requires that new voter registration applicants provide one of a limited set of documents to prove citizenship. Since its implementation, over 31,500 applicants have been rejected for failing to provide the additional paperwork required . In Arizona's largest county, voter registration through community-based drives dropped 44%. Individuals whose registrations were rejected under Proposition 200 reflect the general demographics of Arizona and include people of all races, ages and political affiliations.

On May 9, 2006, MALDEF filed the first suit challenging the voter restrictions of Proposition 200. MALDEF represents Latino organizations and individuals who are negatively affected by the new law. In 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with MALDEF and struck down portions of the law and Arizona filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

MALDEF remains committed to fighting laws and regulations that place unreasonable economic and bureaucratic burdens on U.S. citizens seeking to vote.

This case is about the power of the U.S. Congress to make rules for federal elections. Because Arizona's voter registration law conflicts with federal law, the federal law prevails.

Congress enacted the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) in 1993 to simplify and increase voter registration in federal elections. The NVRA creates a national postcard voter registration form and requires states to accept and use the federal form for the registration of voters in federal elections.

Arizona Proposition 200 blocks U.S. citizens from registering to vote by imposing burdensome paperwork requirements. All new voter registrants must include with their registration form documentation from a list that Arizona claims proves U.S. citizenship.

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Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund