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Federal trial to determine if state ID requirement to vote violates the voting rights of immigrants

A federal trial that started Monday will determine whether a requirement that new U.S. citizens can’t vote until they get a state ID or show papers to election officials violates the voting rights of immigrants. An attorney for the state of Georgia says verification requirements are necessary to prevent noncitizen voting. An attorney for the plaintiffs said in an opening statement that the case is about discrimination against naturalized citizens who are overwhelmingly people of color.

The voter registration process requires extra steps for new U.S. citizens because federal immigration agencies don’t inform election officials when a resident earns citizenship. New citizens must either provide naturalization documents with their voter registration application, send papers to election offices, show citizenship information when they vote or present proof within three days of an election. The AJC reports the trial is expected to last a week, including testimony from three recent U.S. citizens, state election officials, and experts on voting behavior and demographics.

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