A federal appellate court on Thursday blocked enforcement of a 2004 state law requiring Arizona voters to present identification when casting ballots and to submit proof of citizenship when registering to vote.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals without comment granted a motion by critics of the law for an injunction that bars enforcement of the law’s voter identification requirements during the Nov. 7 general election.
It also bars enforcement of a requirement that people produce specified proof of citizenship to register to vote. The deadline to register to vote in the general election is midnight Monday.
State Attorney General Terry Goddard said in a statement he plans to ask the full 9th Circuit Court or the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision.
Secretary of State Jan Brewer, who has defended the law as a protection against voter fraud, said she hopes the decision is reversed ‘‘very quickly.’’
‘‘I’m very concerned about the confusion that this potentially will create in the upcoming election, with the retraining of all the poll workers and the re-education of the public so close to Nov. 7,’’ Brewer said.
The 9th Circuit order was issued by two of the San Francisco-based court’s judges. It said the injunction would remain in effect pending the court’s resolution of the plaintiffs’ appeals, a process that lawyers said could take months.
‘‘This order would certainly run past the Nov. 7 general election,’’ said David Rosenbaum, an attorney for the challengers.
The 2004 law, which appeared on that year’s ballot as Proposition 200, requires that voters at polling places produce government-issued picture ID or two pieces of other non-photo identification specified by the law.
The challengers contend the voting provisions would disenfranchise
numerous voters, particularly minorities and the elderly.