The U.S. Supreme Court, in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, held that the State of Arizona could not require proof of citizenship as an additional requirement on federal voter registration forms. While this was a victory for citizens in Arizona, some states already have proposed new registration programs that essentially would create a two-tier registration system, with proof of citizenship required in order to register to vote in state and local elections, but not required for federal elections. Arizona and Kansas have already passed such laws.
In both states, lawsuits have been filed to challenge the laws. If proof of citizenship requirements are allowed to stand, voters will be turned away at the polls. Most Americans do not carry proof of citizenship with them, and many lack access to these documents. Such laws create classes of citizenship for voting purposes and prevent otherwise eligible Americans from exercising their fundamental right to vote. This is yet another form of 21st century voter suppression.