Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Thursday, August 10
EAC Chairman DeGregorio on Arizona
In this post Monday, I discussed the position statement of Election Assistance Commission Vice-Chair Ray Martinez III, regarding a Tally Vote on Arizona's proof-of-citizenship requirements. In a nutshell, Commissioner Martinez opposed a proposal by EAC Chairman Paul DeGregorio, to change the instructions on the federal voter registration form, in order to accommodate Arizona's requirement that voters produce proof of citizenship when they register.

On Tuesday, Chairman DeGregorio posted this statement setting forth his views on the issue, including his reasons for seeking to change the federal form instructions. He cites Judge Silver's opinion denying a temporary restraining order against Arizona's requirement. He notes that the Arizona Secretary of State requested revision of the federal form instructions after that opinion. Chairman DeGregorio also expresses the view that the judge's ruling was "sound and not likely to be overturned." (My own view of that ruling, which is to the contrary, may be found here. ) He commits to making it an EAC priority to issue federal regulations regarding the federal form.

Along with his statement, Chairman DeGregorio on Tuesday posted these documents regarding the Tally Vote, which include the four commissioner's ballots on the question. They reveal that the Tally Vote to overturn the EAC's prior guidance on the question failed on a party-line vote -- with the two Republican appointees (Chairman DeGregorio and Commissioner Davidson) supporting it and the two Democratic appointees (Commissioners Martinez and Hillman) opposing it. These votes are not a great surprise, but do reinforce the concerns that I expressed on Monday, regarding the potential for breakdown in the bipartisan consensus that has previously characterized the EAC's deliberations.

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University