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State Attorney General Accuses Obama of Trying to Thwart State Voter ID Laws

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – A 2004 voter-approved initiative requires proof of citizenship before someone can register to vote. But the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund sued, arguing that conflicts with the National Voter Registration Act which spells out what states can and cannot require to vote in federal elections. Last year a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voided the statute as preempted by federal law. The full 9th Circuit is set to hear arguments in two weeks. But late last week the Department of Justice filed a friend of the court brief agreeing with challengers. Horne said he's not buying the argument that the administration is simply defending the supremacy of federal law.

(I'm looking at the motive. I think the motive is that the more illegals that vote, the better the Obama administration thinks.)

Horne said Arizona has a need for the law, and the federal government should butt out of the issue.

(Illegals are voting and they shouldn't be voting. And nobody that I've talked to, regardless of political persuasion, can understand how a court could tell us we can't make sure that people who vote are citizens.)

A Department of Justice spokeswoman declined comment, saying the agency's legal arguments speak for themselves. And MALDEF attorney Nina Perales said the underlying premise in Horne's claim is wrong.

(There's a difference between non-citizens and what you're calling illegals. I know that a lot of people in Arizona love to collapse those terms and make every legal permanent resident immigrant into a so-called illegal immigrant. So if that's what he told you, that there was evidence in this case that there were illegals registered to vote and voting, that is a falsehood.)

Perales said there was testimony of -- quote --scattered incidents -- unquote -- of people who thought they were eligible to register to vote, did register and only found out later that they were not eligible. But Horne said that in one year there were about 200 incidents reported of people who were not citizens having registered to vote, with about 10 of those cases actually prosecuted. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.