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Air Force/ Kemberly Groue

Naturalized citizens (but not natives) must prove their citizenship when registering to vote in Mississippi. Above, members of the military becoming citizens at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi.

Mississippi voting rules biased against immigrant citizens, suit alleges

The latest effort to ease restrictions on voting through litigation is a challenge to Mississippi's requirement that naturalized citizens show proof of their citizenship when they register.

The lawsuit, filed Monday by the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, says the law is unconstitutional because it violates of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause by treating one category of citizens differently from another. People born in the United States need only check a box on the state's registration form attesting they are citizens.

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which helped bring the suit, says Mississippi is the only state with a unique mandate for would-be voters who were not born American citizens.

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