MALDEF Appeals Denial Of Prelimnary Injunction On Prop. 200 Voter Restrictions
September 12, 2006
PHOENIX, AZ - Yesterday, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), petitioned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the denial of a preliminary injunction against the voting restrictions of Arizona’s Proposition 200. MALDEF earlier sought a preliminary injunction to prevent U.S. citizens from having to meet difficult and discriminatory new identification requirements in order to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections. In addition, MALDEF sought to remove new “proof of citizenship” requirements that have prevented thousands of voter applicants from being placed on the rolls for the upcoming elections. In an order yesterday, a lower court denied MALDEF’s request.
Proposition 200, passed in November 2004, was touted as a law to prevent non-citizens from voting. In reality, it contains a number of restrictions that apply only to U.S. citizens seeking to vote. The law requires that before being allowed to register to vote, U.S. citizens must produce a government document proving their citizenship and all voters must now show identification before they are allowed to vote at the polls.
“Proposition 200 has forced the rejection of more than 20,000 voter registration applications across Arizona,” explained Nina Perales, MALDEF Southwest Regional Counsel and lead attorney in the case. “We expect the appeals court to quickly enjoin the law and permit thousands of citizens to join the voter rolls,” continued Perales.
“At a time when political activism in the Latino community is at its height, Proposition 200 makes it harder, unnecessarily so, for citizens to register and vote. We will not allow the right to vote and democratic principles to be weakened by Proposition 200,” added John Trasviña, MALDEF Interim President and General Counsel.
MALDEF filed the case on May 9, 2006 on behalf of individual voters and voter registration applicants as well as the following organizations: Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, Valle del Sol, Friendly House, Chicanos Por La Causa and the Hispanic Forum. Danny Ortega, of the law firm of Roush, McCracken, Guerrero, Miller & Ortega is co-counsel with MALDEF in the case.
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