Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, invalidating the controversial proof of citizenship requirement for potential voters in Arizona’s controversial immigration law, may well have an impact that transcends into Georgia, which has similar laws on its books.
Yet, according to the AJC, Peach State elected officials are taking a wait and see tact in addressing any ramifications.
“We cannot comment on the ramifications for Georgia’s law until we’ve had a chance to fully review the ruling,” stated Lauren Kane, a spokesperson for Attorney General Sam Olens.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp conveyed disappointment in the decision, saying that “states’ control over elections would be diminished in law and practice.”
Olens previously joined AGs from Texas, Michigan, Kansas, and Oklahoma in penning a brief to the high court arguing for a ruling in favor of the law.
Opponents of the Arizona provision praised the decision, further arguing it would block efforts at enforcing Georgia’s law. Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center for Justice stated that “to the extent that Georgia or any other state requires proof of citizenship in order to be registered using the federal voter registration form, that requirement is not valid under federal law.”
The 7-2 vote tossing the provision from Arizona’s voter law has been met with swift rebuke from Republicans in both the House and Senate; several lawmakers introduced legislation that would permit states to request such information from those looking to register to vote.
Rep. Phil Gingrey, also running for Georgia’s open Senate seat, proposed such a measure, entitled the Securing America’s Fair Elections Act, an amendment to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
“Georgia and other states have the right—and the responsibility—to enact laws that will preserve the integrity of our elections system. This legislation will help safeguard that right,” he stated via press release.
Despite praise from opponents of such voter registration laws, Phil Kent, spokesman for Americans for Immigration Control, argued that it left the requirements intact.
“Arizona and Georgia can still deny voter registration to anyone who submits a federal form if [they have] other information, such as a state form, that establishes the voter’s ineligibility,” he stated, per the AJC’s report.