Supreme Court Upholds National Voter Registration Act

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U.S. PIRG applauds the Supreme Court’s ruling today, which upheld that the National Voter Registration Act preempts the Arizona law requiring additional proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 opinion by Justice Scalia, held that the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which was specifically enacted to increase voter registration and participation, preempts Proposition 200. Proposition 200, Arizona’s Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, demanded additional documentary proof of citizenship beyond the proof already required by federal law.

The NVRA was passed in 1993 to increase the number of eligible citizens who register to vote in federal elections and to ensure that registration rolls are accurate and up to date. According to Arizona PIRG, the Court’s decision upholds the integrity of the NVRA by deciding that Arizona and other states must use and accept the federal voter registation form. The decision also reinforces the role of the NVRA in helping increase the number of eligible citizens who register to vote.

Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of Arizona PIRG, stated, “Arizona PIRG has played a critical role in helping to make sure it is as easy as possible for eligible voters to get registered. The National Voter Registration Act helped us achieve this goal. We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court decision today as a great step in strengthening our democracy.”

Arizona PIRG and U.S. PIRG have been working to make it as easy as possible for citizens to vote for more than 35 years and will continue – using this important affirmation of the NVRA – to secure our hard-won victories to promote voter registration.

U.S. PIRG was actively involved in the passage of the original federal Motor Voter law as well as many of the state laws that followed. U.S. PIRG did research, lobbying, coalition building and media outreach to build support for the federal law, working closely with Human SERVE, the national organization which led the fight at the state and federal levels.

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.