Gonzalez, et al. v. State of Arizona, et al.

Justia.com Opinion Summary: Proposition 200, Ariz. Rev. Stat. 16-166(F)(the registration provision), required prospective voters in Arizona to provide proof of U.S. citizenship in order to register to vote and required registered voters to show identification to cast a ballot at the polls, Ariz. Rev. Stat. 16-579(A)(the poll place provision). At issue on appeal was whether Proposition 200 violated section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), 42 U.S.C. 1973, was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment or Twenty-fourth Amendment to the Constitution, or was void as inconsistent with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), 42 U.S.C. 1973gg et seq. The court upheld Proposition 200's requirement that voters show identification at the polling place, but concluded that the NVRA superseded Proposition 200's registration provision as that provision was applied to applicants using the National Mail Voter Registration Form to register to vote in federal elections.

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This is a revision of a Previous Opinion originally issued on October 26, 2010
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FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT MARIA M. GONZALEZ,; LUCIANO VALENCIA; THE INTER TRIBAL COUNCIL OF ARIZONA, INC.; ARIZONA ADVOCACY NETWORK; STEVE M. GALLARDO; LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS ARIZONA; LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF ARIZONA; PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY FOUNDATION; HOPI TRIBE, Plaintiffs, and BERNIE ABEYTIA; ARIZONA HISPANIC COMMUNITY FORUM; CHICANOS POR LA CAUSA; FRIENDLY HOUSE; JESUS GONZALEZ; DEBBIE LOPEZ; SOUTHWEST VOTER REGISTRATION EDUCATION PROJECT; VALLE DEL SOL; PROJECT VOTE, Plaintiffs- Appellants, 4111    4112 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA  v. STATE OF ARIZONA; SHELLY BAKER, La Paz County Recorder; BERTA MANUZ, Greenlee County Recorder; CANDACE OWENS, Coconino County Recorder; LYNN CONSTABLE, Yavapai County Election Director; KELLY DASTRUP, Navajo County Election Director; LAURA DEAN-LYTLE, Pinal County Recorder; JUDY DICKERSON, Graham County Election Director; DONNA HALE, La Paz County Election Director; SUSAN HIGHTOWER MARLAR, Yuma County Recorder; GILBERTO HOYOS, Pinal County Election Director; LAURETTE JUSTMAN, Navajo County Recorder; PATTY HANSEN, Coconino County Election Director; CHRISTINE RHODES, Cochise County Recorder; LINDA HAUGHT ORTEGA, Gila County Recorder; DIXIE MUNDY, Gila County Election Director; BRAD NELSON, Pima County Election Director; KAREN OSBORNE, Maricopa County Election Director;   GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA YVONNE PEARSON, Greenlee County Election Director; PENNY PEW, Apache County Election Director; HELEN PURCELL, Maricopa County Recorder; F. ANN RODRIGUEZ, Pima County Recorder, KEN BENNETT, Defendants-Appellees, MARIA M. GONZALEZ; BERNIE ABEYTIA; ARIZONA HISPANIC COMMUNITY FORUM; CHICANOS POR LA CAUSA; FRIENDLY HOUSE; JESUS GONZALEZ; DEBBIE LOPEZ; SOUTHWEST VOTER REGISTRATION EDUCATION PROJECT; LUCIANO VALENCIA; VALLE DEL SOL; PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY FOUNDATION; PROJECT VOTE, Plaintiffs, and       4113 No. 08-17094 D.C. Nos. 2:06-cv-01268-ROS 06-cv-01362-PCTJAT 06-cv-01575-PHXEHC 4114 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA THE INTER TRIBAL COUNCIL OF ARIZONA, INC.; ARIZONA ADVOCACY NETWORK; STEVE M. GALLARDO; LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS ARIZONA; LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF ARIZONA; HOPI TRIBE, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. STATE OF ARIZONA; KEN BENNETT; SHELLY BAKER, La Paz County Recorder; BERTA MANUZ, Greenlee County Recorder; CANDACE OWENS, Coconino County Recorder; PATTY HANSEN, Coconino County Election Director; KELLY DASTRUP, Navajo County Election Director; LYNN CONSTABLE, Yavapai County Election Director; LAURA DEANLYTLE, Pinal County Recorder; JUDY DICKERSON, Graham County Election Director; DONNA HALE, La Paz County Election Director; SUSAN HIGHTOWER MARLAR, Yuma County Recorder; GILBERTO HOYOS, Pinal County Election Director;    GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA LAURETTE JUSTMAN, Navajo County Recorder; CHRISTINE RHODES, Cochise County Recorder; LINDA HAUGHT ORTEGA, Gila County Recorder; DIXIE MUNDY, Gila County Election Director; BRAD NELSON, Pima County Election Director; KAREN OSBORNE, Maricopa County Election Director; YVONNE PEARSON, Greenlee County Election Director; PENNY PEW, Apache County Election Director; HELEN PURCELL, Maricopa County Recorder; F. ANN RODRIGUEZ, Pima County Recorder, Defendants-Appellees, 4115   No. 08-17115 D.C. No. 2:06-cv-01268-ROS OPINION  Appeals from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona Roslyn O. Silver, Chief District Judge, Presiding Argued and Submitted June 21, 2011—Pasadena, California Filed April 17, 2012 Before: Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Harry Pregerson, Pamela Ann Rymer, Susan P. Graber, Marsha S. Berzon, Johnnie B. Rawlinson, Richard R. Clifton, Jay S. Bybee, Sandra S. Ikuta, N. Randy Smith, and Mary H. Murguia, Circuit Judges.1 1 Judge Rymer participated in oral argument and deliberations but passed away before joining any opinion. 4116 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA Opinion by Judge Ikuta; Concurrence by Chief Judge Kozinski; Concurrence by Judge Berzon; Partial Concurrence and Partial Dissent by Judge Pregerson; Partial Concurrence and Partial Dissent by Judge Rawlinson 4120 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA COUNSEL Nina Perales, Esq. (argued), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, San Antonio, Texas, for plaintiffs-appellants Jesus Gonzalez, et al. Jon M. Greenbaum, Esq. (argued), Robert A. Kengle, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Washington, D.C., David J. Bodney, Esq., Steptoe & Johnson, LLP, Phoenix, Arizona, David B. Rosenbaum, Esq., Thomas L. Hudson, Esq., Osborn Maledon, P.A., Phoenix, Arizona, Joe P. Sparks, Esq., The Sparks Law Firm, Scottsdale, Arizona, Daniel B. Kohrman, Esq., AARP, Washington, D.C., for plaintiffsappellants The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, et al. Samuel R. Bagenstos (argued), DOJ, Washington, D.C., for amicus curiae United States. Thomas C. Horne (argued), Attorney General, Phoenix, Arizona, Mary O’Grady, Solicitor General, Phoenix, Arizona, for defendant-appellee Ken Bennett. OPINION IKUTA, Circuit Judge: Proposition 200 requires prospective voters in Arizona to provide proof of U.S. citizenship in order to register to vote, GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4121 see Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-166(F) (the “registration provision”), and requires registered voters to show identification to cast a ballot at the polls, see Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-579(A) (the “polling place provision”). This appeal raises the questions whether Proposition 200 violates § 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), 42 U.S.C. § 1973, is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth or Twenty-fourth Amendments to the Constitution, or is void as inconsistent with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1973gg et seq. We uphold Proposition 200’s requirement that voters show identification at the polling place, but conclude that the NVRA supersedes Proposition 200’s registration provision as that provision is applied to applicants using the National Mail Voter Registration Form (the “Federal Form”) to register to vote in federal elections. I On November 2, 2004, Arizona voters passed a state initiative, Proposition 200, which (upon proclamation of the Governor) enacted various revisions to the state’s election laws. As explained in more detail below, Proposition 200’s registration provision amended Arizona’s voter registration procedures to require the County Recorder to “reject any application for registration that is not accompanied by satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-166(F). Proposition 200’s polling place provision amended Arizona’s election day procedures to require voters to present specified forms of identification at the polls. See id. § 16-579(A). Shortly after Proposition 200’s passage, a number of plaintiffs filed lawsuits against Arizona2 to enjoin these changes. Two groups of plaintiffs are relevant to this appeal: the Gon2 We refer to the defendants collectively as “Arizona,” even though Arizona county recorders were also named as individual defendants. 4122 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA zalez plaintiffs (Gonzalez) and the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona plaintiffs (ITCA).3 The district court consolidated the various complaints. After the district court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, Gonzalez and ITCA appealed. See Gonzalez v. Arizona (Gonzalez I), 485 F.3d 1041, 1046 (9th Cir. 2007). Because the briefing schedule for the appeal extended beyond the 2006 election, Gonzalez and ITCA moved for an emergency interlocutory injunction (which would prevent the implementation of Proposition 200 pending the disposition of the appeal of the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction), which we granted. See id. After Arizona petitioned for certiorari, the Supreme Court vacated the emergency injunction and remanded the case to this court for a determination of the merits of the appeal. See Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1, 5-6 (2006) (per curiam). On remand, Gonzalez and ITCA pursued their claim for preliminary injunctive relief only with respect to Proposition 200’s registration requirement. Gonzalez I, 485 F.3d at 1048. The panel in Gonzalez I affirmed the district court’s denial of the preliminary injunction, holding that Proposition 200’s registration provision was not an unconstitutional poll tax and was not superseded by the NVRA. See id. at 1049, 1050-51. On remand, the district court held that Proposition 200’s polling place provision was not a poll tax under the Twentyfourth Amendment and its registration provision did not conflict with the NVRA, and granted summary judgment to Ari3 Jesus Gonzalez represented one group of plaintiffs, which consisted of individual Arizona residents and organizational plaintiffs. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, a non-profit organization of twenty Arizona tribes, represented another group of plaintiffs, which included the Hopi Tribe, Representative Steve Gallardo from the Arizona State House of Representatives, the League of Women Voters of Arizona, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Arizona Advocacy Network, and People For the American Way Foundation. GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4123 zona on these claims. After trial, the district court resolved all other claims in favor of Arizona, holding that Proposition 200 did not violate § 2 of the VRA or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and did not constitute a poll tax under the Fourteenth Amendment. Gonzalez and ITCA appealed the district court’s rulings on the NVRA and Twenty-fourth Amendment claims. In addition, ITCA challenged the court’s determination that Proposition 200 was not a poll tax under the Fourteenth Amendment, and Gonzalez challenged the court’s determinations on the Voting Rights Act and Equal Protection Clause claims. A three-judge panel affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that Proposition 200’s polling place provision did not violate the VRA or the Fourteenth and Twenty-fourth Amendments, but that Proposition 200’s registration provision was superseded by the NVRA. Gonzalez v. Arizona (Gonzalez II), 624 F.3d 1162 (9th Cir. 2010). In deciding Gonzalez and ITCA’s challenge to the registration provision, the panel overruled the contrary holding of Gonzalez I on the ground that an exception to the law of the case rule applied.4 4 Under the law of the case doctrine, a court will generally refuse to reconsider an issue that has already been decided by the same court or a higher court in the same case. See Jeffries v. Wood, 114 F.3d 1484, 1488-89 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc). We have recognized exceptions to the law of the case doctrine, however, where “(1) the decision is clearly erroneous and its enforcement would work a manifest injustice, (2) intervening controlling authority makes reconsideration appropriate, or (3) substantially different evidence was adduced at a subsequent trial.” Id. at 1489 (footnote omitted) (quoting Caldwell v. Unified Capital Corp. (In re Rainbow Magazine, Inc.), 77 F.3d 278, 281 (9th Cir. 1996)) (internal quotation marks omitted). Some of our cases indicated that a three-judge panel could rely on these exceptions to overrule the law of an earlier published opinion, so long as no subsequent panel had yet relied on it. See id. at 1492-93; see also Mendenhall v. NTSB, 213 F.3d 464, 469 n.3 (9th Cir. 2000); Tahoe-Sierra Pres. Council, Inc. v. Tahoe Reg’l Planning Agency, 216 F.3d 764, 786-88 (9th Cir. 2000). We now hold that the exceptions to the law of the case doctrine are not exceptions to our general “law of the circuit” rule, i.e., the rule that a pub- 4124 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA See id. at 1185-91. A majority of the active judges of the court voted to rehear the case en banc. II We first consider Proposition 200’s registration provision. See Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-166(F). Gonzalez and ITCA contend that this provision is preempted by the NVRA under both the Supremacy Clause and the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In response, Arizona relies on the Supremacy Clause’s “presumption against preemption,” see Medtronic, Inc. v. Lohr, 518 U.S. 470, 485 (1996), to argue that the NVRA neither expressly nor impliedly preempts state voter registration laws. Before addressing the parties’ arguments, we first consider whether the framework of the Elections Clause or the Supremacy Clause properly governs this question. A [1] The Elections Clause establishes a unique relationship between the state and federal governments. It provides: lished decision of this court constitutes binding authority which “must be followed unless and until overruled by a body competent to do so,” Hart v. Massanari, 266 F.3d 1155, 1170 (9th Cir. 2001). To the extent that our prior cases suggested otherwise, see Jeffries, 114 F.3d at 1492-93; Mendenhall, 213 F.3d at 469 n.3; Tahoe-Sierra Pres. Council, Inc., 216 F.3d at 786-88, they are overruled. This determination, however, does not affect other recognized exceptions to the law of the circuit rule. See Miller v. Gammie, 335 F.3d 889, 900 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc) (holding that where “the relevant court of last resort” has “undercut the theory or reasoning underlying the prior circuit precedent in such a way that the cases are clearly irreconcilable,” then “a three-judge panel of this court and district courts should consider themselves bound by the intervening higher authority and reject the prior opinion of this court as having been effectively overruled”); see also Nat’l Cable & Telecomms. Ass’n v. Brand X Internet Servs., 545 U.S. 967, 982 (2005) (holding that a “court’s prior judicial construction of a statute trumps an agency construction otherwise entitled to Chevron deference only if the prior court decision holds that its construction follows from the unambiguous terms of the statute and thus leaves no room for agency discretion”). GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4125 The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators. U.S. Const. art. I, § 4, cl. 1. In a nutshell, state governments are given the initial responsibility for regulating the mechanics of federal elections, but Congress is given the authority to “make or alter” the states’ regulations. The history of the Elections Clause reveals the reasoning behind its unusual delegation of power. Under the Articles of Confederation, the states had full authority to maintain, appoint, or recall congressional delegates.5 At the Philadelphia Convention, delegates expressed concern that, if left unfettered, states could use this power to frustrate the creation of the national government, see U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, 808-09 (1995), most obviously by neglecting to hold federal elections. The Framers decided that Congress should be given the authority to oversee the states’ procedures related to national elections as a safeguard against potential state abuse. See id.; see also The Federalist No. 59, at 168 (Alexander Hamilton) (Ron P. Fairfield ed., 2d ed. 1981) (explaining that “[n]othing can be more evident, than that an exclusive power of regulating elections for the national government, in the hands of the State legislatures, would leave the existence of the Union entirely at their mercy”). Over the protest of some Southern delegates,6 the 5 See Articles of Confederation of 1781, art. V (“[D]elegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each State shall direct . . . with a power reserved to each state, to recall its delegates . . . .”). 6 South Carolinian delegates Charles Pinckney and John Rutledge moved to exclude the language giving Congress this supervisory power over the states. 5 The Debates in the Several State Conventions, on the 4126 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA Framers approved language giving Congress power to “make or alter” the states’ regulations. See 5 Elliot’s Debates 401-02 (statement of James Madison). As modified to give Congress this supervisory power, this language became the Elections Clause.7 [2] Thus, the Elections Clause empowers both the federal and state governments to enact laws governing the mechanics of federal elections. The clause gives states the default authority to prescribe the “Times, Places and Manner” of conducting federal elections. Nevertheless, because Congress “may at any time by Law make or alter” the regulations passed by the state, power over federal election procedures is ultimately “committed to the exclusive control of Congress.” Colegrove v. Green, 328 U.S. 549, 554 (1946).8 While Congress may not Adoption of the Federal Constitution, as Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia, in 1787. Together with the Journal of the Federal Convention, Luther Martin’s Letter, Yates’s Minutes, Congressional Opinions, Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of ’98-’99, and Other Illustrations of the Constitution 401 (photo. reprint 1987) (Jonathan Elliot ed., 2d ed. 1901) [hereinafter Elliot’s Debates]. “The states, they contended, could and must be relied on” to regulate legislative appointments. Id.; see also Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267, 275-76 (2004). 7 Alexander Hamilton described the need for congressional oversight of the states as follows: [The Framers] have submitted the regulation of elections for the federal government, in the first instance, to the local administrations; which, in ordinary cases, and when no improper views prevail, may be both more convenient and more satisfactory; but they have reserved to the national authority a right to interpose, whenever extraordinary circumstances might render that interposition necessary to its safety. The Federalist No. 59, at 168. 8 The Court has generally construed Congress’s authority under the Elections Clause expansively. See, e.g., United States v. Mosley, 238 U.S. 383, 386 (1915) (authority to enforce the right of an eligible voter to cast ballot and have ballot counted); Ex Parte Coy, 127 U.S. 731, 753-54 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4127 always choose to exercise this power, “[w]hen exercised, the action of Congress, so far as it extends and conflicts with the regulations of the State, necessarily supersedes them.” Ex Parte Siebold, 100 U.S. 371, 384 (1879); see also Foster v. Love, 522 U.S. 67, 69 (1997) (stating that the Elections Clause “is a default provision; it invests the States with responsibility for the mechanics of congressional elections, but only so far as Congress declines to preempt state legislative choices” (citation omitted)). Moreover, we have held that the Elections Clause requires states to implement Congress’s superseding regulations without compensation from the federal government. See Voting Rights Coal. v. Wilson, 60 F.3d 1411, 1415 (9th Cir. 1995). Thus, unlike virtually all other provisions of the Constitution, the Elections Clause gives Congress the power to “conscript state agencies to carry out” federal mandates. Id. In sum, a state’s role in the creation and implementation of federal election procedures under the Elections Clause is to administer the elections through its own procedures until Congress deems otherwise; if and when Congress does so, the states are obligated to conform to and carry out whatever procedures Congress requires. See Foster, 522 U.S. at 69. As should be clear from this overview, the Elections Clause operates quite differently from the Supremacy Clause. The Supremacy Clause provides that the laws of the United States “shall be the supreme Law of the Land . . . any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2. Under our system of dual sovereignty, courts deciding whether a particular state law is preempted under the Supremacy Clause must strive to main(1888) (authority to regulate conduct at any election coinciding with federal contest); Ex parte Yarbrough (The Ku-Klux Cases), 110 U.S. 651, 662 (1884) (authority to make additional laws for free, pure, and safe exercise of right to vote); Ex parte Clarke, 100 U.S. 399, 404 (1879) (authority to punish state election officers for violation of state duties vis-a-vis congressional elections). 4128 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA tain the “delicate balance” between the States and the Federal Government, Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U.S. 452, 460 (1991); see Medtronic, 518 U.S. at 485, especially when Congress is regulating in an area “traditionally occupied by the States,” United States v. Locke, 529 U.S. 89, 108 (2000) (internal quotation marks omitted); see also Cipollone v. Liggett Grp., 505 U.S. 504, 516 (1992). The Supreme Court has crafted special guidelines to assist courts in striking this balance. First, courts applying the Supremacy Clause are to begin with a presumption against preemption. E.g., Altria Grp. v. Good, 555 U.S. 70, 77 (2008); Medtronic, 518 U.S. at 485. This principle applies because, as the Court has recently noted, “respect for the States as independent sovereigns in our federal system leads us to assume that Congress does not cavalierly pre-empt state-law causes of action.” Wyeth v. Levine, 129 S. Ct. 1187, 1195 n.3 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). Second, the Court has adopted a “plain statement rule,” holding that a federal statute preempts a state law only when it is the “clear and manifest” purpose of Congress to do so. Gregory, 501 U.S. at 461 (internal quotation marks omitted). Only where the state and federal laws cannot be reconciled do courts hold that Congress’s enactments must prevail. See, e.g., Altria, 555 U.S. at 76-77. [3] In contrast to the Supremacy Clause, which addresses preemption in areas within the states’ historic police powers, the Elections Clause affects only an area in which the states have no inherent or reserved power: the regulation of federal elections. See U.S. Term Limits, 514 U.S. at 804-05. As the Supreme Court has explained, because federal elections did not exist prior to the formation of the federal government, the states’ sole authority to regulate such elections “aris[es] from the Constitution itself,” id. at 805. Because states have no reserved authority over the domain of federal elections, courts deciding issues raised under the Elections Clause need not be concerned with preserving a “delicate balance” between competing sovereigns. Instead, the Elections Clause, as a standalone preemption provision, establishes its own balance. For GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4129 this reason, the “presumption against preemption” and “plain statement rule” that guide Supremacy Clause analysis are not transferable to the Elections Clause context. See Harkless v. Brunner, 545 F.3d 445, 454 (6th Cir. 2008) (declining to apply Supremacy Clause preemption principles in analyzing the preemptive effect of the NVRA). Indeed, the Supreme Court has suggested as much. In Foster, the Supreme Court upheld the Fifth Circuit’s determination that a state election law was voided by a federal election law; however, instead of adopting the Fifth Circuit’s Supremacy Clause analysis, the Court analyzed the claim under the Elections Clause, without ever mentioning a presumption against preemption or plain statement rule. See Foster, 522 U.S. 67, aff’g 90 F.3d 1026 (5th Cir. 1996). In fact, our survey of Supreme Court opinions deciding issues under the Elections Clause reveals no case where the Court relied on or even discussed Supremacy Clause principles. Because the Elections Clause empowered Congress to enact the NVRA, see Wilson, 60 F.3d at 1413-14, the preemption analysis under that Clause applies here. B The Supreme Court first explained the principles of Elections Clause preemption in Siebold, 100 U.S. 371. In that case, the Court likened the relationship between laws passed by state legislatures and those enacted by Congress under the Elections Clause to “prior and subsequent enactments of the same legislature.” Id. at 384. “The State laws which Congress sees no occasion to alter, but which it allows to stand, are in effect adopted by Congress.” Id. at 388. Just as a subsequent legislature is not required to make an “entirely new set” of laws when modifying those of a prior legislature, neither is Congress required to wholly take over the regulation of federal election procedures when choosing to “make or alter” certain of the states’ rules. Id. at 384. There is no “intrinsic difficulty in such co-operation” between the state and national legislatures because the two governments do not possess an “equality of jurisdiction” with respect to federal elections. Id. 4130 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA at 392. In all instances, “the laws of the State, in so far as they are inconsistent with the laws of Congress on the same subject, cease to have effect as laws.” Id. at 397. Over a century later, the Supreme Court clarified what constitutes a conflict under an Elections Clause analysis. See Foster, 522 U.S. 67. Foster considered whether a congressional enactment superseded a Louisiana statute regulating the same federal election procedure. Id. at 68-69. Specifically, federal law set the date for congressional elections as the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Id. at 68. A Louisiana statute established an open primary in October for the offices of United States Senator and Representative. Id. at 70. Only if the open primary failed to result in a majority candidate would a run off election between the top two candidates be held on Congress’s specified election day. Id. In response to a challenge by Louisiana voters, the Court unanimously held that the state and federal acts conflicted and thus that the federal statute superseded the Louisiana law. Id. at 74. The Court rejected the state’s claim that its statute and the federal enactment could be construed harmoniously. Id. at 72-73. Louisiana asserted that “the open primary system concern[ed] only the ‘manner’ of electing federal officials, not the ‘time’ at which the elections will take place.” Id. at 72. The Court discarded the state’s “attempt to draw this timemanner line” as “merely wordplay” and an “imaginative characterization” of the statutes. Id. at 72-73. Building upon the principles from Siebold, the Court declined to adopt a strained interpretation of the statutes to reconcile a potential disagreement.9 See id. Rather, the Court emphasized Congress’s ple9 The dissent’s claim that in Foster there was a “blatant conflict” between the state and federal election laws, dis. op. at 4213, is incorrect. Rather, the petitioners in Foster proffered a reading of the state and federal statutes that at least technically avoided a conflict. See Foster, 522 U.S. at 72 (arguing that “because Louisiana law provides for a ‘general election’ on federal election day in those unusual instances when one is GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4131 nary authority not only to supplant state rules but to conscript states to carry out federal enactments under the Elections Clause, and found it enough that, under a natural reading, the state and federal enactments addressed the same procedures and were in conflict. Id. Refusing to pare the statute “down to the definitional bone,” the Court held that the state enactment was void. Id. at 72, 74. Reading Siebold and Foster together, we derive the following approach for determining whether federal enactments under the Elections Clause displace a state’s procedures for conducting federal elections. First, as suggested in Siebold, we consider the state and federal laws as if they comprise a single system of federal election procedures. Siebold, 100 U.S. at 384. If the state law complements the congressional procedural scheme, we treat it as if it were adopted by Congress as part of that scheme. See id. If Congress addressed the same subject as the state law, we consider whether the federal act has superseded the state act, based on a natural reading of the two laws and viewing the federal act as if it were a subsequent enactment by the same legislature. Foster, 522 U.S. at 74; see id. at 72-73. If the two statutes do not operate harmoniously in a single procedural scheme for federal voter registration, then Congress has exercised its power to “alter” the state’s regulation, and that regulation is superseded. C Before applying this Elections Clause analysis here, we must understand the scope and application of the federal and needed, the open primary system concerns only the ‘manner’ of electing federal officials, not the ‘time’ at which the elections will take place”). The Court rejected this reading as “merely wordplay.” Id. The dissent provides a similarly strained reading of the NVRA and Proposition 200, see dis. op. at 4203-04, 4206-07 which likewise falls short, see infra at 4138-43. 4132 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA state statutes at issue, namely the NVRA and Proposition 200’s registration provision. The NVRA prescribes three methods for registering voters for federal elections. 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-2(a). These methods are: (1) “by application made simultaneously with an application for a motor vehicle driver’s license,” id. § 1973gg-2(a)(1);10 (2) “by mail application” using the Federal Form prescribed by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC),11 id. §§ 1973gg-2(a)(2), 1973gg-4; and (3) “by application in person” at sites designated in accordance with state law or state voter registration agencies, id. § 1973gg-2(a)(3). States must “establish procedures to register” voters through all three methods “notwithstanding any other Federal or State law” and “in addition to any other method of voter registration provided for under State law.” Id. § 1973gg-2(a).12 In connection with prescribing these three methods of voter registration, the NVRA mandates the creation of two new voter registration applications. First, the NVRA requires states to create a combined driver’s license and voter registration application form (the “Motor Voter Form”) pursuant to certain criteria set out in the statute. See id. § 1973gg-3. The 10 Under this method, any application for a driver’s license submitted to a state motor vehicle authority “shall serve as an application for voter registration with respect to elections for Federal office unless the applicant fails to sign the voter registration application.” § 1973gg-3(a)(1). This provision earned the statute its informal name: the “Motor Voter Law.” 11 The responsibilities of the EAC were formerly held by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). When Congress passed the Help America Vote Act or 2002 (HAVA), Pub. L. No. 107-252, 116 Stat. 1666, it created the EAC, 42 U.S.C. § 15321, which eventually absorbed the FEC’s duties under the NVRA, see 42 U.S.C. § 15532. In this opinion, we refer to both entities as the EAC. 12 States that do not require registration to vote or allow election-day registration at polling places are exempt from the NVRA. See § 1973gg2(b). These states are Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. See 75 Fed. Reg. 47,729-01, 47,730 (Aug. 9, 2010). GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4133 NVRA also requires the EAC to create the Federal Form, a nationally uniform voter application that applicants can use to register by mail and in person at designated locations. See id. §§ 1973gg-4, 1973gg-7(a)(2). In addition, states may (but are not required to) create their own state mail voter registration forms for federal elections (the “State Form”), so long as these forms meet certain criteria in the NVRA. See id. § 1973gg-4(a)(2). The NVRA sets out a broad framework for the contents of the Federal Form, including specifying certain items that must be included on the form, along with other items that cannot be. See id. § 1973gg-7(b). Among other things, id. § 1973gg7(b) provides that the Federal Form “may require only such identifying information . . . as is necessary to enable the appropriate State election official to assess the eligibility of the applicant and to administer voter registration and other parts of the election process.” Id. § 1973gg-7(b)(1). Further, the Federal Form must include a statement specifying “each eligibility requirement (including citizenship)” for voting along with an “attestation that the applicant meets each such requirement,” id. § 1973gg-7(b)(2)(A)-(B), and must require “the signature of the applicant, under penalty of perjury,” id. § 1973gg-7(b)(2)(C). In addition, the NVRA provides that the Federal Form cannot include “any requirement for notarization or other formal authentication,” id. § 1973gg-7(b)(3).13 13 In full, section 1973-gg7(b) states that the Federal Form (1) may require only such identifying information (including the signature of the applicant) and other information (including data relating to previous registration by the applicant), as is necessary to enable the appropriate State election official to assess the eligibility of the applicant and to administer voter registration and other parts of the election process; (2) shall include a statement that— (A) specifies each eligibility requirement (including citizenship); 4134 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA The NVRA directs the EAC, in consultation with “the chief election officers of the States,” to develop the Federal Form in a manner consistent with these broad guidelines. Id. § 1973gg-7(a)(2). The EAC discharged this statutory requirement by designing a Federal Form that met the criteria set forth in section 1973gg-7(b). See 59 Fed. Reg. 32,311-01 (June 23, 1994), codified at 11 C.F.R., pt. 9428. As designed by the EAC (and subsequently modified by HAVA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 15301 et seq.), the Federal Form is a postcard.14 See 11 C.F.R. § 9428.5. The top of the form asks “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?” and “Will you be 18 years old on or before election day?” with boxes for the applicant to check yes or no.15 Applicants who check “no” to either of these questions are instructed not to complete the form. If the (B) contains an attestation that the applicant meets each such requirement; and (C) requires the signature of the applicant, under penalty of perjury; (3) may not include any requirement for notarization or other formal authentication; and (4) shall include, in print that is identical to that used in the attestation portion of the application— (i) the voter eligibility requirements and penalties for false applications set forth in § 1973gg-6(a)(5); (ii) a statement that, if an applicant declines to register to vote, the fact that the applicant has declined to register will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes; and (iii) a statement that if an applicant does register to vote, the office at which the applicant submits a voter registration application will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes. Id. § 1973gg-7(b). 14 The Federal Form is set forth in Appendix A. 15 These two questions and the associated instructions were added to the Federal Form by HAVA. 42 U.S.C. § 15483(b)(4)(A)(i)-(ii). GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4135 applicant checks “yes” to both questions, the form then requests the applicant’s name, address, date of birth, telephone number (optional), choice of party,16 race or ethnic group,17 and “ID number.”18 It also requires the applicant to attest (with a signature or mark) that he or she is a U.S. citizen, meets his or her state’s voting eligibility requirements, and has provided information that is “true to the best of [his or her] knowledge under penalty of perjury.” No other proof of U.S. citizenship is required. The Federal Form postcard may be dropped into the mail or delivered in person to one of the designated offices. As noted above, in addition to mandating the creation and use of the Federal Form, the NVRA allows states to develop and use an optional State Form for registering voters for federal elections. See 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-4(a)(2). If a state chooses to create a State Form, that form must conform to the broad framework for the contents of the Federal Form set forth in section 1973gg-7(b). See id. Arizona chose to create a State Form19 that is similar to the Federal Form but requires that first-time voters and persons who have moved between Arizona counties “also include proof of citizenship or the 16 “Choice of party” is required in some states for voters who wish to participate in closed primaries. It is not required to register to vote in general elections. See 59 Fed. Reg. at 32,314. 17 This box was included on the Federal Form to assist certain states in their data collection efforts pursuant to § 5 of the VRA. Id. at 32,315-16. 18 The “ID number” is used for “election administration purposes.” 11 C.F.R. § 9428.4(a)(6), see 59 Fed. Reg. at 32,314 (explaining that ID numbers “are not necessary for determining the eligibility of the applicant,” but rather are for assisting the states in administering the registration process). The Federal Form’s instruction booklet provides state-specific instructions for the “ID number” box: for Arizona, applicants must provide a driver’s license, non-operating identification license number, the last four digits of a social security number, or write “None.” These instructions are consistent with Arizona’s election administration obligations under HAVA. See infra at pp. 4144-45. 19 The Arizona State Form is set forth in Appendix B. 4136 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA form will be rejected.” According to the State Form instructions, an applicant can satisfy this proof of citizenship requirement by writing in a designated box on the State Form the number of the applicant’s Arizona driver’s license or nonoperating identification license issued after October 1, 1996,20 alien registration number, or specified tribal identification number (as relevant). If the applicant lacks such a number, the applicant must include a photocopy of one of the acceptable documents listed on the State Form (such as a birth certificate, U.S. passport, tribal document, or the like) along with the form itself. [4] While the NVRA permits states to use their own State Forms to register voters for federal elections, the NVRA still requires every state to “accept and use” the Federal Form developed by the EAC. See id. § 1973gg-4(a)(2) (“In addition to accepting and using [the Federal Form], a State may develop and use a mail voter registration form that meets all of the criteria stated in section 1973gg-7(b) of this title for the registration of voters in elections for Federal office.” (emphasis added)). In this way, the NVRA guarantees that an applicant in any state seeking to register to vote in federal elections may do so using the Federal Form. D Having reviewed the relevant provisions of the NVRA, we now turn to Proposition 200’s registration provision, which states: “The county recorder shall reject any application for registration that is not accompanied by satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-166(F). The statute defines satisfactory evidence of U.S. citizenship to include the number of the applicant’s driver’s license or nonoperating identification license, certain numbers associated 20 Arizona started requiring applicants to provide documentation of their lawful status as U.S. residents as a condition of receiving a driver’s license or non-operating identification license after October 1, 1996. GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4137 with Native American tribal status, the number of a certificate of naturalization (or the in-person presentation of naturalization documents), or a legible photocopy of a U.S. birth certificate or passport.21 See id. By its terms, this proof of citizenship requirement applies to the Federal Form as well as to Arizona’s State Form.22 In 21 Section 16-166(F) provides the following list of approved identification documents: 1. The number of the applicant’s driver license or nonoperating identification license issued after October 1, 1996 by the department of transportation or the equivalent governmental agency of another state within the United States if the agency indicates on the applicant’s driver license or nonoperating identification license that the person has provided satisfactory proof of United States citizenship. 2. A legible photocopy of the applicant’s birth certificate that verifies citizenship to the satisfaction of the county recorder. 3. A legible photocopy of pertinent pages of the applicant’s United States passport identifying the applicant and the applicant’s passport number or presentation to the county recorder of the applicant’s United States passport. 4. A presentation to the county recorder of the applicant’s United States naturalization documents or the number of the certificate of naturalization. If only the number of the certificate of naturalization is provided, the applicant shall not be included in the registration rolls until the number of the certificate of naturalization is verified with the United States immigration and naturalization service by the county recorder. 5. Other documents or methods of proof that are established pursuant to the immigration reform and control act of 1986. 6. The applicant’s bureau of Indian affairs card number, tribal treaty card number or tribal enrollment number. 22 Proposition 200 also amended state law to require Arizona’s State Form to “contain . . . [a] statement that the applicant shall submit evidence of United States citizenship with the application and that the registrar shall reject the application if no evidence of citizenship is attached.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-152(A)(23). Because this provision does not affect the Federal Form, we do not consider it here. 4138 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA other words, Proposition 200’s registration provision directs Arizona county recorders to reject every Federal Form that is submitted without the specified evidence of citizenship. According to the Arizona Election Procedures Manual, which has the force and effect of law, see Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-452, if a rejected applicant wants to make a second attempt to provide evidence of citizenship, he or she must submit an entirely new voter registration form in order to do so.23 E We now turn to Gonzalez and ITCA’s contention that the NVRA’s requirement that states “accept and use” the Federal Form supersedes Proposition 200’s registration provision as applied to applicants using the Federal Form.24 [5] In assessing this argument, we apply the Elections Clause framework we derived from Siebold and Foster and consider the NVRA and Proposition 200’s registration provision as if they comprise a single system of federal election procedures. With respect to mail voter registration, the NVRA provides that “[e]ach State shall accept and use” the Federal Form “for the registration of voters in elections for Federal office.” 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-4(a)(1). By contrast, Proposition 200’s registration provision directs county recorders to “reject any application for registration that is not accompanied by satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship,” as defined 23 The manual instructs county recorders: If [a voter registration] form is not accompanied by proper proof of citizenship, the voter registration form is not valid and either will not be entered into the system or if it was entered into the system, the record shall be canceled. If the registrant subsequently provides proof of citizenship, it must be accompanied by a new voter registration form and a new registration date. Arizona Secretary of State Elections Procedures Manual (Oct. 2007). 24 Gonzalez and ITCA do not challenge Proposition 200’s registration provision as applied to Arizona’s State Form. GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4139 by Arizona law. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-166(F). When read together, the federal and state enactments treat the same subject matter, namely, the procedure for registering by mail to vote in federal elections using the Federal Form, but they do not operate harmoniously. In fact, these procedures are seriously out of tune with each other in several ways. First, the NVRA requires a county recorder to accept and use the Federal Form to register voters for federal elections, whereas the registration provision requires the same county recorder to reject the Federal Form as insufficient for voter registration if the form does not include proof of U.S. citizenship. Arizona attempts to harmonize these procedures, arguing that because the county recorder will accept the Federal Form for voter registration so long as it includes satisfactory evidence of citizenship, the county recorder is in fact complying with the NVRA’s mandate to “accept and use” the Federal Form, per 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-4(a)(1). Rejection of the Federal Form in certain circumstances, Arizona argues, does not in itself mean that the state is failing to accept and use the form. Indeed, Arizona asserts, Congress must have contemplated that some applicants using the Federal Form would be rejected, because the NVRA directs states to notify “each applicant of the disposition of [his or her] application.” Id. § 1973gg-6(a)(2). [6] We disagree. Although Arizona has offered a creative interpretation of the state and federal statutes in an effort to avoid a direct conflict, we do not strain to reconcile a state’s federal election regulations with those of Congress, but consider whether the state and federal procedures operate harmoniously when read together naturally. See Foster, 522 U.S. at 72-74; Siebold, 100 U.S. at 384. Here, under a natural reading of the NVRA, Arizona’s rejection of every Federal Form submitted without proof of citizenship does not constitute “accepting and using” the Federal Form. Arizona cannot cast doubt on this conclusion by pointing out that the NVRA allows states to reject applicants who fail to demonstrate their 4140 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA eligibility pursuant to the Federal Form. Congress clearly anticipated that states would reject applicants whose responses to the Federal Form indicate they are too young to vote, do not live within the state, or have not attested to being U.S. citizens. Indeed, the NVRA instructs the EAC to request information on the Federal Form for the precise purpose of “enabl[ing] the appropriate State election official to assess the eligibility of the applicant.” 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-7(b)(1). Thus, a state that assesses an applicant’s eligibility based on the information requested on the Federal Form is “accepting and using” the form in exactly the way it was meant to be used. In contrast, Proposition 200’s registration provision directs county recorders to assess an applicant’s eligibility based on proof of citizenship information that is not requested on the Federal Form, and to reject all Federal Forms that are submitted without such proof. Rejecting the Federal Form because the applicant failed to include information that is not required by that form is contrary to the form’s intended use and purpose. The dissent likewise attempts to justify Arizona’s rejection of the Federal Form, but rests its arguments almost exclusively on the fact that § 1973gg-4(a)(2) allows states to develop and use a State Form, which may include requirements that are not included in the Federal Form. See dis. op at 4200-03, 4204-06. According to the dissent, because states may impose additional proof-of-citizenship requirements on applicants using the State Form, it necessarily follows that states may impose the same proof-of-citizenship requirements on applicants using the Federal Form; that is, that they may reject Federal Forms that do not include the additional proof of citizenship. See dis. op. at 4203-06. But there is no logical connection between the dissent’s premise and its conclusion, which is contrary to the text of the statute. The NVRA clearly requires states to accept and use the Federal Form (as designed by the EAC) “[i]n addition to” the State Form. GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4141 The NVRA’s State Form provision, § 1973gg-4(a)(2), merely gives a state more options. Congress could have required all states to use only the Federal Form, as designed by the EAC, for federal elections. If Congress had done so, then states could not use their state registration forms to register applicants for federal elections. Instead, Congress allowed States to use their state registration forms to register applicants for both state and federal elections (provided the state form complies with § 1973gg-7(b)).25 But states cannot reject applicants who register for federal elections who use the Federal Form. There is nothing illogical or inconsistent about requiring states to accept the federal registration form in addition to their own state form. In order to avoid the clear import of the NVRA’s text, the dissent argues that the Federal Form merely establishes the default minimum or baseline registration requirements. See dis. op. at 4203-04, 4209. In effect, the dissent wants to replace the words “in addition to” with the words “instead of,” so that “a State may develop and use a mail voter registration form that meets all of the criteria stated in section 1973gg-7(b) of this title” instead of “accepting and using” the Federal Form. We have no authority to rewrite the statute, however, and reject the dissent’s interpretation as being inconsistent with the plain language. See id. (“In addition to accepting and using [the Federal Form], a State may develop and use a mail voter registration form that meets all of the criteria stated in section 1973gg-7(b) of this title for the registration of voters in elections for Federal office.” (emphasis added)). 25 The dissent therefore has it exactly backwards in asserting that, under our interpretation of § 1973gg-4(a)(2), states may not use their state registration forms to register “voters in elections for Federal office.” Dis. op. at 4208. States may use their state registration forms to register voters in elections for federal office; they simply may not require registrants to use the State Form (or the equivalent of the State Form, namely, the Federal Form altered to include additional state requirements). 4142 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA [7] Second, Proposition 200’s registration provision clashes with the NVRA’s delegation of authority to the EAC (not the states) to determine the contents of the Federal Form. See id. § 1973gg-7(a)(2). While states may suggest changes to the Federal Form, the EAC has the ultimate authority to adopt or reject those suggestions. See id. § 1973gg-7(a). Here the EAC sent Arizona a letter rejecting its proposal to modify the Federal Form to require applicants to present documentary proof of citizenship in order to register, see infra p. 4148 n.29, but Arizona nevertheless proceeded to impose this additional requirement on applicants using the Federal Form. Arizona’s insistence on engrafting an additional requirement on the Federal Form, even in the face of the EAC’s rejection of its proposal, accentuates the conflict between the state and federal procedures.26 Arizona attempts to minimize the clash between the NVRA and Proposition 200 by noting that a proof of citizenship requirement is consistent with the broad framework set out by Congress in section 1973gg-7(b); specifically, Arizona notes that the NVRA permits the Federal Form to seek such information as is necessary to “assess the eligibility of the applicant,” id. § 1973gg-7(b)(1), and does not expressly preclude a requirement that applicants provide proof of citizenship. Further, Arizona asserts that although Congress provided that 26 Arizona argues that McKay v. Thompson, 226 F.3d 752, 755-56 (6th Cir. 2000), supports its conclusion that states may add requirements to the Federal Form, so long as the NVRA does not expressly forbid those requirements. Arizona is misreading McKay. In that case, the court rejected a prospective voter’s objection to Tennessee’s practice of requiring a full social security number as a precondition to successful registration, see id. at 754, stating that “[t]he NVRA does not specifically forbid use of social security numbers.” Id. at 756. But this holding does not help Arizona because the Federal Form allows states to instruct applicants to provide their full social security numbers in the “ID number” box on the Federal Form (and Tennessee’s instructions do so). See supra p. 4135 & n.18. McKay therefore does not support the proposition that a state may condition registration on an applicant’s provision of information that is not requested on the Federal Form. GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4143 the mail voter registration form “may not include any requirement for notarization or other formal authentication,” id. § 1973gg-7(b)(3), Arizona’s demand for proof of citizenship does not amount to such a requirement. This argument misses the point. Even assuming, without deciding, that Arizona is correct in its interpretation of section 1973gg-7(b), this would mean only that the NVRA allows Arizona to include a proof of citizenship requirement on its State Form. See id. § 1973gg-4(a)(2) (allowing a state to “develop and use a mail voter registration form that meets all of the criteria stated in section 1973gg-7(b)”). It would not mean that Arizona has authority to add this requirement to the Federal Form. Congress entrusted that decision to the EAC. Once the EAC determined the contents of the Federal Form, Arizona’s only role was to make that form available to applicants and to “accept and use” it for the registration of voters. [8] Third, Proposition 200’s registration provision is discordant with the NVRA’s goal of streamlining the registration process. See, e.g., Nat’l Coal. for Students with Disabilities Educ. & Legal Def. Fund v. Allen, 152 F.3d 283, 285 (4th Cir. 1998) (“Congress passed the NVRA . . . to make it easier to register to vote . . . .”); ACORN v. Miller, 129 F.3d 833, 835 (6th Cir. 1997) (“In an attempt to reinforce the right of qualified citizens to vote by reducing the restrictive nature of voter registration requirements, Congress passed the [NVRA].”). While the EAC chose to design the Federal Form as a postcard, which could be easily filled out and mailed on its own, Proposition 200’s registration provision makes the Federal Form much more difficult to use. For example, nothing on the face of the Federal Form or in the state-specific instructions for Arizona indicates that some applicants may need to provide a full social security number, a tribal identification number, or an alien registration number, as Proposition 200 requires.27 Nor does the Federal Form instruct that additional 27 Because the Federal Form can be used as a mail-in postcard, the dissent’s credit card analogy, see dis. op. at 4204, is not on point. A con- 4144 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA documents, such as birth certificates or passports, must be provided by some applicants. Even if an applicant were aware of Arizona’s requirement to provide documentary proof of citizenship with the Federal Form, the applicant would have to locate the required document, photocopy it, and enclose the photocopy with the form in an envelope for mailing. In short, much of the value of the Federal Form in removing obstacles to the voter registration process is lost under Proposition 200’s registration provision. Notwithstanding these concerns, Arizona asserts that Proposition 200’s registration provision imposes little additional burden on applicants, because only a small minority of applicants lack a driver’s license number, tribal identification number, or alien registration number, all of which could suffice to show citizenship and can easily be written on the Federal Form. For this reason, Arizona contends, its proof of citizenship requirement is not excessively burdensome under the standard set forth in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181, 199-200 (2008) (Stevens, J., announcing the judgment of the Court). This argument misses the mark. The goal of the NVRA was to streamline the registration process for all applicants; the fact that Proposition 200’s registration provision only partially undermines this goal does not make it harmonious with the NVRA. Nor does Crawford provide support for Arizona’s argument. In Crawford, the Court considered whether a polling place requirement imposed a substantial burden on the right to vote, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. See id. at 187. Even if Arizona is correct that Proposition 200’s registration provision does sumer would rightly cry foul if a merchant claimed it would “accept and use” mailed-in credit card information for a purchase, but then refused to complete the transaction because the consumer failed to include additional information that the merchant had not requested. By the same token, the Federal Form does not request documentary proof of citizenship. Because a state must “accept and use” this form it cannot reject it merely because an applicant has mailed it in without including information that is not expressly required. GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA 4145 not impose such a burden, this conclusion sheds no light on the question before us here: whether the registration provision is displaced by the NVRA under an Elections Clause analysis. F Because on its face the NVRA does not give states room to add their own requirements to the Federal Form, Arizona suggests that Congress’s subsequent enactment of HAVA permits us to reinterpret the NVRA to allow states to impose additional requirements on applicants for voter registration. Again, we disagree, because by its terms HAVA precludes such an interpretation. Congress enacted HAVA in response to the 2000 Presidential election and the ensuing controversial Florida recount. See Fla. State Conference of NAACP v. Browning, 522 F.3d 1153, 1155 (11th Cir. 2008). For the most part, the NVRA and HAVA operate in separate spheres: the NVRA regulates voter registration, whereas HAVA is concerned with updating election technologies and other election-day issues at polling places. However, a handful of provisions in HAVA relate to the voter registration process, primarily by creating mechanisms through which states can ensure that the person who appears to cast a ballot at the polls is the same person who registered to vote. Relevant here, HAVA requires states to obtain (or assign) unique identification numbers for all registered voters: each applicant must provide his or her driver’s license number or the last four digits of his or her social security number on the voter registration form, or if the applicant lacks such a number, the state must assign the applicant a number “which will serve to identify the applicant for voter registration purposes.” 42 U.S.C. § 15483(a)(5)(A)(i)-(ii). In addition, states are to take steps to verify that the applicant’s claimed identity matches the identification number he or she provided. See id. § 15483(a)(5)(A)(iii) (requiring states to “determine whether the [identification] information provided 4146 GONZALEZ v. ARIZONA by an individual is sufficient to meet the requirements” of HAVA); see also Crawford, 553 U.S. at 192. HAVA also includes language limiting its scope. It clarifies that “[t]he requirements established by [HAVA] are minimum requirements and nothing in [HAVA] shall be construed to prevent a State from establishing election technology and administration requirements that are more strict than the requirements established under [HAVA] so long as such State requirements are not inconsistent with the Federal requirements under [HAVA] or any law described in section 15545 of this title.” Id. § 15484. Section 15545 is HAVA’s savings clause: it provides that except for the changes to the NVRA specified in HAVA, “nothing in this Act may be construed to authorize or require conduct prohibited under [a number of federal laws, including the NVRA], or to supersede, restrict, or limit the application of [those federal laws].” Id. § 15545(a). Arizona argues that HAVA gives it the authority to impose additional requirements on applicants using the Federal Form