OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Arizona has become one of the most important states in the presidential election, and there are concerns that a loophole could allow non-citizens to vote.
“Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes crafted the state’s Election Procedures Manual (EPM) to permit individuals whose citizenship cannot be verified to register as a ‘federal-only’ voter and cast ballots in upcoming elections,” The Daily Caller reported.
“An otherwise eligible registrant who does not submit DPOC (proof of citizenship) and whose U.S. citizenship cannot be verified via AZMVD records or other record in the statewide voter registration database is registered as a ‘federal-only’ voter. A ‘federal-only’ voter is eligible to vote solely in races for federal office in Arizona (including the Presidential Preference Election (PPE)),” it says on page three of chapter one.
Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Hans von Spakovsky said that he is concerned that the rule could allow illegal migrants to vote in the 2024 presidential election.
“I think it’s absolutely a possibility because if you aren’t requiring proof of citizenship, you’re simply going on people’s word that, oh yeah, I’m a U.S. citizen, you’re going to get aliens who register and who vote,” he said to The Daily Caller.
“The Justice Department, they don’t prosecute these cases, even though it’s a felony under federal law for an alien to register and vote,” he said. “Aliens have an incentive, a voter registration card, which you get when you register. That’s a gateway for getting other kinds of ID.”
Ken Cuccinelli, who worked in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for former President Donald Trump, had similar concerns when he spoke to The Caller.
“Adrian Fontes could have used his elections procedures manual to help close the decade-old loophole regarding non-citizen voting in Arizona elections. Instead, he made it even worse — allowing non-citizens and individuals who have failed to prove their U.S. citizenship to vote in the Presidential Preference Election in 2024,” he said.
“Meaning the same illegal aliens who have flooded across our open border at unprecedented levels in recent years could help decide the winner of the state’s Republican presidential primary in March. Because the manual is exempt from legislative review, we should expect nothing less from the most radical, far-left administration in the history of Arizona state government,” he said.
And they were not the only ones who spoke to The Caller with these concerns.
“The National Voter Registration Act requires that States ‘accept and use’ voter registration forms created by the federal government. The federal form has a question about citizenship, but it only requires that a voter applicant swear under penalty of perjury that he is a citizen. It does not require the person to provide any documentary proof. Arizona law does require documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote. The Supreme Court has held that, for federal races, Arizona is required to accept the federal voter registration form and cannot impose any additional requirements, such as asking for proof of citizenship,” America First Legal Senior Counsel James Rogers said.
“For state and local races, however, Arizona still has the power to require proof of citizenship. The result is that, in Arizona, voters have two options for registering to vote. Their first option is to fill out the state voter registration form, provide proof of citizenship, and then be able to cast a vote in federal, state, and local races,” he added.
“Their second option is that they can fill out the federal form, avoid providing proof of citizenship, and then only be able to cast a vote in federal races. This bifurcated system is unique to Arizona. More than 20,000 voters in Arizona have chosen to submit federal-only forms,” Rogers continued.
“These 20,000 people have thus avoided the requirement to prove their citizenship but also given up the chance to vote in state or local races. It would be interesting to understand why these people have chosen to file federal-only forms, but it does not appear that anyone has ever investigated why,” he said.