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Goddard Pledges Prompt Action on Voting Rules

(Phoenix, Ariz. - August 12, 2005)  Attorney General Terry Goddard today welcomed the submission of proposed voting rules to implement the last part of Proposition 200 and pledged to act on them promptly.  

“The implementation of these voting rules is my top priority,” Goddard said.  “My office will review the Secretary of State’s submission as quickly as possible to ensure the rules protect voters’ the rights while being faithful to Proposition 200.”

The voting identification rules must be proposed by the Secretary of State and approved by the Governor and the Attorney General.  Once approved, the rules must be cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice for compliance with the Voting Rights Act before becoming effective. The voting identification rules are the final step to full implementation of Proposition 200.

Since Proposition 200 was adopted by Arizona voters last November, the Attorney General’s Office has sought to rapidly implement all of its provisions:

  • Goddard issued a legal opinion 10 days after the November election defining what benefits required proof of citizenship under the new law.
  • Goddard submitted the new law to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division for expedited approval under the Voting Rights Act.  DOJ approved the new law within six weeks. 
  • Once the DOJ provided its approval, Goddard issued a legal opinion indicating that an Arizona driver’s license or a state issued ID card obtained after October 1, 1996, satisfies the citizenship requirement to register to vote.
  • The Attorney General’s Office has defended the new law against legal challenges in both state and federal courts. It has prevailed in every instance.