WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has blocked Kansas, Georgia and Alabama from requiring residents to prove they are U.S. citizens when registering to vote using a national form.
The 2-1 ruling late Friday is a victory for voting rights groups who sued a U.S. election official after he changed proof-of-citizenship requirements on the federal registration form at the behest of the three states.
Other states only require people registering to vote to swear they are citizens, not show documentary proof.
A federal judge in July refused to block the requirement while the case was being decided.
The League of Women Voters and civil rights groups argued that the requirements could lead to the "mass disenfranchisement" of thousands of potential voters — many of them poor, African-American and living in rural areas.