The United States is suing Arizona over a new state law that will require residents to provide proof of U.S. citizenship in order to vote in federal elections.

The Department of Justice announced the lawsuit Tuesday, calling Arizona’s House Bill 2492, which is set to take effect in January, too restrictive.

“House Bill 2492’s onerous documentary proof of citizenship requirement for certain federal elections constitutes a textbook violation of the National Voter Registration Act,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Clarke argued the new law also violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“For nearly three decades, the National Voter Registration Act has helped to move states in the right direction by eliminating unnecessary requirements that have historically made it harder for eligible voters to access the registration rolls,” Clarke said. “Arizona has passed a law that turns the clock back on progress by imposing unlawful and unnecessary requirements that would block eligible voters from the registration rolls for certain federal elections.”

The Justice Department said Arizona’s new voting law also disregards a 2013 Supreme Court decision that rejected an earlier attempt by the state to force proof of citizenship for federal elections.

Arizona already requires proof of citizenship for state elections after a 2004 ballot measure made the requirement mandatory for anyone registering to vote after 2005. The 2023 law adds proof of citizenship requirements to all elections, including federal, regardless of the registration year.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who signed the law in March, said it was necessary for “prohibiting any attempt to illegally cast a vote.”

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