Poll: 78 Percent Support Proof-of-Citizenship Requirements

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Posted: Mar 25, 2014 2:00 PM
Poll: 78 Percent Support Proof-of-Citizenship Requirements

Before we get to the poll itself there are two stories related to voter I.D. laws worth revisiting today. Guy brought you the first one last week; we learned from a local NBC News affiliate in Florida that voter fraud is alive and well in the Sunshine State. The video is breathtaking:

Perhaps reports like this -- and others like it -- is why a federal judge ruled last week that the Federal Election Assistance Commission could not prevent Kansas and Arizona from strengthening their proof-of-citizenship requirements:

Federal officials must help Kansas and Arizona enforce laws requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, in a decision that could encourage other Republican-led states to consider similar policies.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Wichita, Kan., ordered the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to immediately modify a national voter registration form to add special instructions for Arizona and Kansas residents about their states' proof-of-citizenship requirements.

Both require new voters to provide a birth certificate, passport or other documentation to prove their U.S. citizenship to election officials. The federal registration form requires only that prospective voters sign a statement declaring they are citizens.

Kansas and Arizona asked the federal agency for state-specific modifications, but it refused. The states and their top elected officials — Secretaries of State Kris Kobach of Kansas and Ken Bennett of Arizona, both conservative Republicans — sued the agency last year.

Essentially, the judge argued, this is a states’ rights issue: states should have the ability to control their own voting requirements. That is, if a state wants to require residents to furnish photo I.D.’s before they cast ballots -- such as a driver’s license or passport -- they should have that authority. The purpose, of course, is to cut down on voter fraud, thus ensuring the integrity and fairness of local, state, and national elections.

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Which brings us to the Rasmussen poll released today: fully 78 percent of respondents support proof-of-citizenship requirements.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 78% of Likely U.S. Voters believe everyone should be required to prove his or her citizenship before being allowed to register to vote. That’s up from 71% a year ago. Just 19% oppose that requirement. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Thus, the argument that Republicans are racists and bigoted for championing voter ID laws (or something similar) is ludicrous; most of the country supports these common sense requirements. And based on what we saw in Florida, these types of anti-fraud measures are increasingly necessary, too.