KNAU and Arizona News
4:37 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

AZ's Voter ID Law Up Before US Senate Committee

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett defended the state’s controversial new voter I-D law in front of the U-S Senate Judiciary Committee.

Secretary of State Bennett faced tough questions on the state’s law requiring proof of citizenship for new voters and an ID at the polls. When pressed, Bennett says the administration has only successfully prosecuted fifteen people for voter fraud. But he says preventing even one case of fraud is important.

“Our fundamental first right is our right to vote," Bennett told the committee. "I think closely behind it or maybe equal with it is the right to know that our vote is not being canceled out or offset by sombody who is not allowed to vote or not eligible to vote.”

Bennett and other Republican officials from across the U-S are being accused of helping suppress voter turnout. Nina Perales of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund says the Arizona law is too restrictive.

“Following enactment of the law over 30,000 individuals were rejected for voter registration," Perales said.

With Congress divided lawmakers are unlikely to pass any changes to federal voter laws.