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Statement by Senate President Pearce on 9th Circuit Hearing


“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is hearing arguments today on Arizona’s Constitutional and common sense groundbreaking law requiring residents to show proof of citizenship when they register to vote, and to show identification when voting. I am confident the 9th Circuit will agree that this is a common sense approach to guaranteeing voter integrity.

In 2004 Protect Arizona NOW, an Arizona Initiative: “Arizona Taxpayers and Citizens Protection Act,” passed overwhelmingly byArizonacitizens and does three things:

Proof of citizenship to register to vote. The U.S. Constitution established more than 200 years ago that only citizens may vote. The initiative requires everyone equally to prove that eligibility. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires states to strengthen the integrity of their voter rolls, as does Title 7, Section 12 of the Arizona Constitution.

Photo I.D. when voting. Photo I.D. is required to cash a check, apply for welfare, sign a lease, or get a rental card at a video store. Gov. Napolitano vetoed the photo I.D. Bill, stating it was illegal, yet 11 states already had laws requiring I.D. when voting. Some laws have been on the books for decades.

Proof of eligibility to receive taxpayer public benefits. This is already on the books. The initiative would require everyone to provide proof of eligibility equally. The Urban Institute studied this extensively in 1994, the University of Arizona in 2001, and estimated such costs to vary widely in the tens of millions of dollars.

I wrote Proposition 200 in 2004. Amazingly, seven years later, the open borders crowd and the federal government are still fighting to prevent us from implementing our law. Then again, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised, since then-Governor Napolitano and then-Attorney General Goddard did everything they could to block implementation of it.

I expect the 9th Circuit to agree with U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver, who ruled in 2006 states are free to enact measures, including requiring proof of citizenship, to make sure people who sign up to vote are legally qualified to do so. We also got complete approval and support from the U.S. Justice Department on Prop. 200, as any change in voting eligibility must be approved by the U.S. Justice Department.

Have we not learned anything from recent scandals involving ACORN and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), who been found guilty of voter fraud in several states? In 2008 and in 2010 we found hundreds of thousands of incidences of suspected voter fraud across America and suspect voter fraud across Arizona. Enough is enough. It is critical we protect the integrity of our elections.”


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