Appeals court questions proof-of-citizenship rules

DENVER (AP) — A federal appeals panel in Denver has suggested that a partisan stalemate in Congress may mean that Republicans in Kansas and Arizona will be unable to force federal election officials to impose proof-of-citizenship requirements on voter registration forms.

Those two states sued the Elections Assistance Commission after the agency refused to adjust the federal voting registration forms to reflect those states' requirements that voters prove they are citizens.

A lower court found the commission needed to include the more stringent state language. But a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted today that Congress has not approved a single commissioner to sit on the commission in three years.

The judges were skeptical the agency could decide whether to change the federal form, one way or the other, without any commissioners.

That would leave Kansas and Arizona without a formal decision to challenge in court.

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