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Court blocks requirement saying voters must have U.S. citizenship

People wanting to vote must show certain documents before they are allowed to do so. This can include a driver's license, a voter registration card and possibly Social Security documentation. What it cannot include -- in certain locations -- is proof of U.S. citizenship, according to a recent court ruling.

Readers of this blog in North Carolina who remain current on immigration issues could be interested in recent developments concerning how voter registration laws are developing in other states. A recent court order stayed a requirement that potential voters be required to prove their citizenship before being allowed to cast their ballot. The information is mandatory according to the state's requirements. It is not, however, required when using the federal form.

Previously, a federal court decreed that the state in question could demand proof of citizenship before allowing voter registration. That move was countered by immigration advocates. They were successful in having a hold placed on the ruling.

So what does this mean? It means, until further notice, election officials are required to accept documentation stemming from either federal or state regulations. The issue is slated to go before an appeals court for further debate.

In the meantime, some states have decided to put a dual-track voting system into place. In this type system, voters who use the federal form to register to vote will be limited to voting in federal elections. Voters who used the state form and showed proof of their U.S. citizenship will be allowed to vote in any races being held at the time, regardless of state or federal affiliation. For immigrants in North Carolina, the implications could be relevant as the situation progresses.

Source:, "Court temporarily blocks voter citizenship requirement", Mary Jo Pitzl, May 9, 2014

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