On February 29, 2024, a federal judge struck down discriminatory, anti-voter provisions of two Arizona laws, H.B. 2492 and H.B. 2243, passed in 2022 that undermined Arizonans’ freedom to vote and violated federal law. The judge’s order also leaves a few anti-voter provisions intact.

At issue in the case were discriminatory provisions of the two anti-voter laws, including one that denied the freedom to vote to Arizonans who did not list their birthplace on the state registration form and another that required county officials to investigate naturalized Arizonans’ citizenship status without good cause. This decision strikes down those provisions, while leaving other discriminatory investigation provisions and a proof of citizenship requirement for state and local elections on the books.

The decision, following a two-week trial in November 2023, comes after the District Court struck down other discriminatory provisions of H.B. 2492 and H.B. 2243 last September.

“This decision took important steps to stop anti-voter policies that make it harder for all Arizonans to cast a ballot – especially Latino and Native voters who have long faced significant barriers to accessing their fundamental freedom to vote,” said Danielle Lang, Senior Director of voting rights at Campaign Legal Center. “While we are still reviewing the full scope of the decision, we are glad the Court removed some of the barriers that H.B. 2492 and H.B. 2243 have placed on Arizona’s students, Latino voters, and Native voters as they seek to exercise their freedom to vote.”

“This was a years-long fight that, thankfully, has finally concluded with the Judge’s decision,” said Alejandra Gomez, Executive Director at Living United for Change in Arizona.  “The proponents of this measure should take this ruling to heart – that when you attack voting rights in Arizona, we will exhaust all remedies available to ensure our people can vote securely, freely, and safely. We knew from the start that HB 2492 was a bill that was discriminatory in nature and was an attempt to silence voters who have been historically disenfranchised. If implemented this would have posed  drastic negative consequences for Arizona voters. That’s why we stood up to the Arizona legislature, and why we’re glad the judiciary was able to confirm that harm with this ruling.”

“LULAC supports our Constitution and fighting back against the politics of hatred and division,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “The court’s ruling is a win for all Americans, particularly historically disenfranchised Latino voters who believe that the right to vote is a fundamental guarantee that must not be compromised or denied.”

“In the state of Arizona, American Indian people fought a long political battle to win the right to vote,” says Maria Dadgar, Executive Director, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. “Without supporting these efforts for change, a great portion of Arizona’s citizens, would remain disenfranchised. This lawsuit is a reflections of ITCA’s deep commitment to protecting the right to vote for all.”

“We applaud the court’s ruling and thank all those involved in getting this important decision,” said San Carlos Apache Chairman Terry Rambler. “Although tribes won the right to vote over 75 years ago, this case demonstrates that efforts to block this right continue today.  Self-serving legislation that attempts to discriminate and suppress voter turnout is truly un-American and supporters of it should be ashamed.  The San Carlos Apache Tribe will continue to stand with all individuals and organizations in ensuring that all Americans can exercise their constitutional right to vote.”

“The Arizona Coalition for Change celebrates the federal court’s decision to strike down key discriminatory provisions of H.B. 2492 and H.B. 2243 as a significant victory for the voting rights of Arizonans” said Sena Mohammed, Executive Director of Arizona Coalition for Change.  “While we are heartened to see some of the most egregious barriers to voting removed, we remain concerned about the provisions left intact. Our fight for a truly inclusive democracy continues, as we stand committed to ensuring every Arizonan can exercise their fundamental right to vote without undue hindrance. We believe in a democracy that serves all its citizens, and we will keep pushing against policies that seek to silence our communities. This ruling is a step in the right direction, but our work is far from over. Together, with our partners, we will persist in our efforts to dismantle all forms of voter suppression in Arizona.”

“We are excited to celebrate a win today with our partners,” said Kyle Nitschke, Co-Executive Director for the Arizona Students’ Association. “We know there is much more work needed to be done to expand student voting access, but it’s a relief to see some of the worst provisions of these bills that would have affected students were found to violate federal law”

“The Court’s rulings provide vital protections to Arizona voters and send a clear message that the state cannot deprive its voters of the federal voting rights that protect every U.S. citizen in the country,” said Courtney Hostetler, Senior Counsel at Free Speech For People. “No eligible voter should be deprived of their right to vote for failing to provide the state with information irrelevant to their eligibility, or be subject to baseless scrutiny based on their status as naturalized citizens. We will continue to challenge efforts by elected officials to undermine federal voting rights or to prevent eligible voters from casting their ballot.”

Campaign Legal Center (CLC), the San Carlos Apache Tribe Department of Justice, Barton Mendez Soto PLLC, Free Speech for People and Mayer Brown, LLP filed the lawsuit on behalf of Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Arizona Students’ Association (ASA), Arizona Democracy Resource Center (ADRC), Arizona Coalition for Change (ACC), the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA) and the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

Last September, the U.S. District Court struck down numerous discriminatory provisions of H.B. 2492 and H.B. 2243, including a restriction that would have allowed Arizona to reject federal voter registration forms submitted without additional documents proving their American citizenship. Voters are already required to attest to their citizenship – under penalty of perjury – to register to vote, and federal law prohibits states from imposing additional paperwork requirements to register for federal elections.

September’s ruling also struck down the requirement that applicants provide additional documentary proof of their residence when registering to vote using the federal voter registration form. That provision created yet another hurdle for Arizonans, and it was especially burdensome for Native voters who, due to disinvestment in Native communities, are more likely to lack the required documentation–including in some regions of the state where residents lack residential addresses altogether .

Learn more about the case here.