In the summer of 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that Arizona, formerly a preclearance state, could not unilaterally require voters to show proof of citizenship before registering to vote in a federal election. But the court said Arizona could sue the Election Assistance Commission to get the federal voter registration form amended to require proof of citizenship. Now, both Arizona and Kansas have sued the commission. According to The New York Times, the states are setting up a two‐tiered system of voter registration as a backup just in case their legal challenges prove unsuccessful: The states will require proof of citizenship for state and local races but not federal elections. Or as The Wichita Eagle put it: “Secretary of State Kris Kobach is laying groundwork for a system that would allow some voters to vote in all elections while others could only vote for Congress and presidential tickets.” Registrations were suspended for about 17,500 voters until they submitted proof of citizenship.
By the way, Mother Jones called Kobach “The legal mastermind behind the wave of anti‐ immigration laws sweeping the country.” And he’s the force behind the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which he started in 2005 as a free service to states — almost exclusively those led by Republican lawmakers — to flag voters who may be casting ballots in multiple states in the same election. More on Kris Kobach later on.
All of the above states were preclearance states, i.e., because of their history of voter suppression they had to get Justice Dept. approval of any changes in their voting laws. However, a number of non‐preclearance states, those that were not directly affected by the Roberts Court’s decision, have also chosen to restrict voters rights.