On the heels of the Supreme Court decision striking down Arizona’s voter registration law requiring proof of citizenship, Senator Ted Cruz introduced an amendment to the immigration bill that would allow states to require ID for voter registration.
His office issued the following press release:
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) today filed an amendment to S. 744, the Senate Immigration Reform Bill, to close a loophole in the federal “Motor Voter” law that preempts states from enforcing requirements that would ensure those registered to vote are U.S. citizens. Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is a co-sponsor.
“The right to vote is a fundamental building block of our nation’s democratic process and it crucial that we have the measures in place to uphold the integrity of our elections,” said Sen. Cruz. “This amendment ensures that states can enforce the commonsense requirement that those registered to vote must actually be U.S. citizens.”
The Cruz-Vitter amendment states: “Nothing in subsection (a) [42 U.S.C. §1973gg-4(a)] shall be construed to preempt any State law requiring evidence of citizenship in order to complete any requirement to register to vote in elections for Federal office.” This measure simply amends an existing federal statute; it does not require states to adopt certain voting requirements, respecting the interests of federalism.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. that the federal “Motor Voter” law (the National Voter Registration Act of 1993) preempted Arizona’s commonsense requirement that a person must present concrete evidence of citizenship before they are allowed to register to vote.
“Justice Alito said in his dissent, ‘I do not think that this is what Congress intended’ and I agree with him,” the Senator said. “The Court’s ruling leaves a hole in federal law that allows non-citizens to register by using the promulgated federal form without showing proof of citizenship. This encourages voter fraud and we must ensure that our elections are fair and accurately reflect the will of our citizens.”