Arizona to defy US Supreme Court decision

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Even though the US Supreme Court has voted 7-2 to block Arizona's voter ID law, it will be business as usual for the state.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett told all 15 county recorders to reject any state voter registration form that does not contain proof of citizenship.

That's the part of the law the nation's high court ruled invalid.

The ruling says the state cannot require proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections.

The high court gave the state some wriggle room saying the state has remedies it can pursue but whether that will prove fruitful is unclear.

The Supreme Court also says state's can determine "who is qualified to vote in elections," says House Speaker Andy Tobin.

Whether that means the state can determine who can vote in federal elections is still unclear.

In the meantime, the state will continue to use the same registration form it's presently using.

However, if a person fills out a federal registration form, it cannot be rejected.

The case was brought on behalf of people living on the reservations who don't have birth records, elderly people who may have misplaced or lost records and people born at home who have no hospital record.

Under state law those people can be denied the right to vote.

The ruling does not affect the requirement that people show identification when voting at the polls. That still stands.

But the section of the state form which requires proof of citizenship has been ruled invalid.

"It's a narrow group of people but those can be very sizeable when you look at the South and Southwest," says Jeff Rogers former chair of Pima County's Democratic Party. "We've had a lot of close elections and it doesn't take a lot of people to change an election result sometimes."

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