The history of the Elections Clause reveals the reasoning behind this unusual delegation of power. Under the Articles of Confederation, the states had full authority to maintain, appoint, or recall congressional delegates. At the Philadelphia Convention, delegates expressed concern that, if left unfettered, states could use this power to frustrate the creation of the national government, 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.
The Federal Form:(1) may require only such identifying information (including thesignature of the applicant) and other information (including datarelating to previous registration by the applicant), as is necessaryto enable the appropriate State election official to assess the eligibilityof the applicant and to administer voter registration andother parts of the election process;(2) shall include a statement that—(A) specifies each eligibility requirement (including citizenship);(B) contains an attestation that the applicant meets each suchrequirement; and(C) requires the signature of the applicant, under penalty of perjury;(3) may not include any requirement for notarization or other formalauthentication; and(4) shall include, in print that is identical to that used in the attestationportion of the application—(I) [voter eligibility requirements and penalties for false applications,§ 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 remainconfidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes;and(iii) a statement that if an applicant does not register to vote, theoffice at which the applicant submits a voter registration applicationwill remain confidential and will be used only for voter registrationpurposes.§ 1973gg-7(b).