updated 10/6/2006 9:43:06 AM ET 2006-10-06T13:43:06

A federal appellate court has blocked the enforcement of an Arizona law that requires voters to show identification before casting a ballot and submit proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday came a month before the Nov. 7 general election, and just before Monday’s deadline to register. The law had already been used for the Sept. 12 primary and in some municipal elections.

The 2004 law requires that voters at polling places produce government-issued picture ID or two pieces of other non-photo identification specified by the law. Other parts of the law dealt with ineligibility of illegal immigrants to receive some government services and benefits.

Critics said that the law would disenfranchise voters, particularly minorities and the elderly, and that requiring voters to acquire and produce identification would be burdensome in time, money and effort.

State Attorney General Terry Goddard said in a statement that he plans to ask the full 9th Circuit Court or the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision.

Secretary of State Jan Brewer, who has defended the law as a protection against voter fraud, said she hopes the decision is reversed “very quickly.”

“I’m very concerned about the confusion that this potentially will create in the upcoming election, with the retraining of all the poll workers and the re-education of the public so close to Nov. 7,” Brewer said.

The law has been challenged in federal court by groups including the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, the League of Women Voters, the Navajo Nation, the Arizona Civil Liberties Union, the Arizona Advocacy Network and the Mexican-American Legal and Educational Fund.

“The court’s ruling will help ensure the fundamental right to vote for tens of thousands of Arizonans who otherwise would have faced unnecessary barriers to full participation in federal and state elections,” the challengers said in a statement.

Other states, including Georgia and Missouri, also have had voter identification laws challenged in court this year.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments