Remember this phrase: two-tier voting. You may be hearing more about it.
in Arizona and Kansas are making preparations for elections with two
categories of voters. There will be those who provided proof of
citizenship when they registered to vote, and will therefore be able to
vote in all local, state, and federal elections. And then there will be
those who did not provide proof of citizenship when they registered.
Those people will only be able to vote in federal contests — if at all.
In both states, the preparations underway are reactions to the
Supreme Court’s June ruling in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council, the
legal battle over Arizona’s 2004 voter identification law, known as
Proposition 200. While the headlines in June painted the ruling as a
blow to Proposition 200, officials in both Arizona and Kansas have
chosen to focus on the leeway the Supreme Court left them. Kansas State
Election Director Brad Bryant laid out the argument in an email he sent
to county election officers at the end of July.
“As the Supreme
Court made clear, its decision applies only to ‘federal registration
forms’ and covers only federal elections,” Bryant wrote, according to a
copy of the email provided to TPM. “States remain free to require proof
of citizenship from voters who seek to also vote in state elections.”
Using that logic, both states have made moves toward two-tier systems.
It sounds like train travel: first class voters and second class voters. I mean tier. They ought to give election commissioners railroad hats and ticket punchers to add to the atmospherics.
On a serious note, this is yet another despicable anti-small d democratic move by Republicans. It it increasingly obvious that they don’t respect election results and will do everything possible to fix elections by exploiting every loophole and legal ambiguity possible.
For people who profess to loathe “trial lawyers,” Gopers are remarkably litigious. These new measures will surely be challenged in the courts and cost the taxpayers of Arizona and Kansas a pretty penny. I expect that two-tier voting fever will spread, which will benefit those damn trial lawyers but I guess that’s okay as long as some of them are conservatives. Logic and consistency are lost on today’s GOP.
That concludes today’s episode of voter suppression theatre.