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Proof-of-Citizenship Issue on Arizona Ballot

August 17, 2004|From Associated Press

PHOENIX — An initiative that would require people to prove their citizenship when registering to vote or when seeking social services in Arizona was certified Monday for the November ballot.

Supporters said Proposition 200, the Arizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, was intended to combat welfare and voter fraud. Opponents said it was unneeded and rooted in racism. Secretary of State Jan Brewer announced that supporters had collected more than the required 122,612 signatures.

If approved by voters, Proposition 200 would require state residents to prove their citizenship when registering to vote and show identification when casting a ballot in person.

People applying for services not mandated by the federal government would also have to prove their identities and eligibility. Initiative supporters said the requirement would be limited to people applying for welfare, but opponents said the reach would be broader.

Federal law already requires state workers to check whether applicants are eligible for welfare benefits. Illegal immigrants are barred from getting child-care assistance, food stamps or other money from the government.

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