Oct. 24, 2006 – The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that Arizona can require voters to present a photo identification card and proof of US citizenship when they cast their ballots in the upcoming November elections.
Opponents of the law say it will disenfranchise legitimate voters, particularly low-income people, the elderly and people of color. The law is aimed mostly at immigrants.
Residents in the state approved the voter requirements in 2004. In May 2006, a contingent of organizations, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and Chicanos Por La Causa filed a lawsuit to challenge the requirements.
A federal appeals court temporarily blocked the law from going into effect in October, but the Supreme Court, without making a ruling on the merit of the law itself, overturned that injunction.
Critics of the law say it will prevent people who cannot meet the ID requirements from participating in elections, and may deter citizens from registering to vote.
The justices declined to express a complete opinion on the case challenging Arizonaâ€™s law, but rather said it was merely lifting the injunction "given the imminence of the election and the inadequate time to resolve the factual disputes."
Last week, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down a law requiring voters to show ID at the voting booth.