Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 7, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

PHOTO FINISH....Two years ago Arizona voters approved Proposition 200, which requires voters to produce a picture ID before they're allowed to vote or register to vote. What's more, your ID better be current: if you have a driver's license with an old address, you're out of luck. It's one of the most stringent laws of its kind in the country.

As we all know, the picture ID requirement disproportionately hurts minorities, the elderly, and the disabled. But there's another group that's affected even more severely: students. Art Levine explains today in Salon:

In Arizona, students can't register to vote unless they provide an Arizona-approved birth certificate and multiple proofs of their current address. In-state students who are already registered to vote in one Arizona county must provide proof of U.S. citizenship if they want to reregister in another county.

At Arizona State University in Tempe, with its 63,000 students living on and off campus, voter registration has essentially evaporated....From 5,000 voters registered in six weeks before the 2004 presidential race, the ASU Young Democrats' post-Proposition 200 registration drive has produced little more than 200 new voters in a year and a half. According to Joaquin Rios, 20-year-old president of the local Young Democrats chapter, the problem is the ID requirement. "I've encountered hundreds of students," he reports, "and I don't know a single one who has decided to get a state ID."

Read the whole thing. The new law has disenfranchised native Americans who don't have ID cards, any voter whose address isn't current on their driver's license, and virtually all students, who move around frequently and don't keep their ID updated. Voter registration has plummeted. And all of this, needless to say, is in response to a non-problem: Evidence of actual voter fraud prior to passage of Proposition 200 is virtually zero. On the other hand, it does a great job of solving the problem of too many people voting for those pesky Democrats.

For more along the same lines, check out Greg Palast's latest piece here.

Kevin Drum 12:19 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (67)

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Comments

I don't understand what a law like this was intended to prevent (or, at least, what its supporters claimed it would prevent).

Illegal immigrants, who I imagine would get blamed for most things in Arizona, aren't voting (law or no law) because they would have to prove that they live in the precinct; risks too much INS heat. And Arizona has a large elderly population; how did they allow this to happen? The mere existence of this law boggles my mind.

Posted by: mmy on November 7, 2006 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

I have pre-election jitters. Hopefully, America takes back its country tomorrow.

Posted by: DK2 on November 7, 2006 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

How exactly would there be evidence of somebody voting under the wrong name? It's an almost untraceable crime.

In any case, the article says that people can register to vote, but frequently choose not to. That's always been the case, Photo ID law or no.

Posted by: American Hawk on November 7, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Let me be the first to provide the requisite Al, ChickenHawk, Chucky etc bullshit post, so that we can all be spared the real thing and they can retire peacefully back to their padded cells.

"Blah Blah; mindless drivel; looney ranting; ill-considered stream of consciousness; paranoia; insecurity; inadequacy; base bigotry; fear."

There. Now that's out of the way, let the real conversation begin.

Posted by: billy on November 7, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Why don't they just pass the law they really want, and set a Democratic vote at 2/3 of a Republican one.

Posted by: craigie on November 7, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Damn. too late.

Posted by: billy on November 7, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

Billy-- Like so many on this forum, you excel at ad hominem. You've learned well from your Stewart/Colbert masters: Mock, never address a point. Good liberal! have a dog trat!

Posted by: American Hawk on November 7, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

If the disaster happens tmrw(obviously bogus) are you going to be ready to shed moderatism. I think they may be scamin us. How many times should we take this?

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on November 7, 2006 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks ChickenHawk. Your usual thoughtful commentary.

Posted by: billy on November 7, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

I'm predicting that the coming months after this election are going to be the ugliest period of time in this nation since the Civil War.

YouTube is going to be exploding with videos of voter intimidation and suppression.

Posted by: elbow room on November 7, 2006 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

Tomorrow we shall have our revenge. Hey ChickenHawk, watch us rip the Republican Party a new asshole.

Posted by: trublu on November 7, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

Yep, stupid law for no good reason. We need a real and comprehensive voting reform bill out of the new Congress.

Posted by: gq on November 7, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

Good liberal! have a dog trat!

What's a dog trat?

Learn to type, you stupid piece of shit.

Posted by: Vladi G on November 7, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

As Tuesday's vote approaches, Democrats are buoyantly optimistic about their prospects for retaking control of Congress. President Bush is wildly unpopular. His handling of Iraq, the election's dominant issue, is backed by less than a third of the electorate. On issue after issue, voters across the United States support Democratic positions. And in generic Congressional polls, a majority of Americans consistently prefer Democrats over Republicans.

Almost none of which matters for the Republican braintrust. For the GOP, 2006 isn't a popularity contest. The Republican strategy for victory hinges on turning out their base while ensuring potential Democratic voters stay home.

Call it "Divide, Suppress and Conquer."

The Republicans' 25% Strategy is simple. First, fire up the base with red meat issues, while using the proven conservative "distribution" channel of churches and single issue advocacy groups to get them to the polls. Second, drive down the participation of potential Democratic and independent voters through curbs on registration, onerous new ID requirements, and polling place eligibility challenges. Last but certainly not least for the Republican party of Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman, when in doubt, just cheat.

For the full story, see:
"Divide, Suppress and Conquer: The GOP's 25% Strategy for 2006"


Posted by: AngryOne on November 7, 2006 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

How exactly would there be evidence of somebody voting under the wrong name? It's an almost untraceable crime.

Untraceable? Let's check the steps:

To vote under the wrong name you would
(a) go to the right polling place.
(b) identify yourself to the poll worker as someone you're not.
(b1) the person you're impersonating has already been to the polls and has signed the rolls. The poll worker challenges you to match signatures with the one they have on file and/or produce id at this point. Your goose is cooked.
(b2) you get there first and commit purjury by signing and voting as someone else. When the real person comes in, they are challenged, they provide a correct signature that matches the one on file, maybe an id, and people start getting interviewed about what you look like.

It isn't a useful crime to impersonate someone at the polls. You can't do it at your own polling station, and the risk/penalties are too high to do the crime for so little reward.

Doubt me? Try it tomorrow and let us know how it goes.

Posted by: Wapiti on November 7, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

So I wonder if this voter suppression drive is Rove's big "October Surprise?" He didn't come up with anything else, so presumably this is his big ploy. I'm not impressed.

Posted by: Global Yokel, Upstate NY on November 7, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

THEY CHEATED! THEY CHEATED!! THEY CHEATED!!!

Just practicing.

Posted by: dnc on November 7, 2006 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

First off, Kevin, this was a proposition, approved by the people at a referendum. You might not like it, but it wasn't a nefarious Republican scheme done at midnight in the legislature.

Second, who says voter fraud in the pre-Prop 200 era was 'non-existent'? Successful fraud is hard to trace (that's the whole point), and I find it difficult to believe that the pols, R and D alike, are somehow immune to nefarious acts in Arizona.

And as to those poor, disenfranchised student who wouldn't go get a state ID, well yes: if you can't be bothered to follow the rules, don't expect to vote on election day.

As to voters who don't have a drivers license with their current address, well, they're in more trouble than just not be allowed to vote. Most states tell you that if you move, you have a certain amount of time to correct your license (30 days in my state). Regardless of your voting plans, you shouldn't go around for months/years with an incorrect license. And if you're moving in October and plan to vote, you make plans accordingly -- that is, if voting is important to you.

It boils down to something pretty simple: ensuring that you vote, that you're meeting the requirements to vote and have the proper ID to vote, requires a modicum of effort. It isn't hard, but it does require one to think and (perhaps) plan ahead a little. If you can't do that, that's your problem.

Posted by: Steve White on November 7, 2006 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Has anyone got an explanation for the fact that Democrats are always trying to make it easier for people to vote, and Republicans are always trying to make it harder?

Posted by: albright on November 7, 2006 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

Albright, do you have an explanation as to why Democrats are always trying to make it easier to commit voter fraud, and Republicans are always trying to make it harder?

See how that works?

Posted by: Steve White on November 7, 2006 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

Why can't students who aren't living at their normal permanent address use absentee ballots?

Posted by: harry on November 7, 2006 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

Steve,

I think it should be obvious that Democrats aren't trying to encourage voter fraud. What they are trying to do is open up the process to as many of our citizens as possible. Seems like a noble goal to me.

The GOP is well aware that if students, new citizens, minorities, the elderly, and the disabled were to vote in large numbers, the Republican agenda is toast.

Please spare us any more nonsense about the GOP's concern for eliminating voter fraud. A political party that is in bed with Diebold doesn't give a rat's ass about voting security.

Posted by: elrod on November 7, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Nicely put, elrod

Posted by: Press Corpse on November 7, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

Steve White >"...See how that works?"

So how are those checks from Karl Rove & the ReThuglican HQ doing for ya ?

Tight ass prick that you are

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

Posted by: daCascadian on November 7, 2006 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

Hawk writes:

In any case, the article says that people can register to vote, but frequently choose not to. That's always been the case, Photo ID law or no.

Huh? The central point of the article is that the Prop 200/Voter ID law has made registering to vote a bureaucratic hassle. Which is why the ASU Young Democrats club registered 5,000 voters in the six weeks before the 2004 Presidential race before the law was passed, but they only registered 200 in a year and a half after it passed.

Posted by: Andy on November 7, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

Pretty lame election coverage Kevin--

Given up and already making excuses?

Posted by: CW on November 7, 2006 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

One will note the obvious: Kevin Drum et al aren't just opposed to that specific proposition. And, they aren't recommending changes to that law that would eliminate those alleged problems. No, Kevin et al are opposed to such laws entirely.

What Kevin might want to do now is recall that Prop 200 passed by a wide margin, including 46% of Hispanics. And, the voter ID requirements in Prop 200 had massive support, somewhere around 90%.

And, there's a new proposal that's doing even better than Prop 200 was:

Proposition 300, which would make an array of state-supported education and child-care services off limits to undocumented immigrants and non-citizens, gets 70 percent approval, with 58 percent registering as strong support.

Two other anti-illegal immigration propositions are also doing well; the only one that isn't has "politically correct" language and is probably misleading to voters.

Obviously, some people see problems where Drum can't.

Perhaps he should consider suggesting ways to fix the alleged problems he states, because otherwise it looks like something else is involved.

Posted by: TLB on November 7, 2006 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

And, with further restrictions on the franchise, even more drastic measures will easily pass in future elections. It's easy!

Moreover, it makes the country stronger. Just look at the former slave states, who for decades restricted the black vote. Why, they lead the nation in literacy, productivity, living standards ... where "leads" means "points to the direction we're heading".

Sure, a mean, tight-fisted electorate will always find someone else to blame for the results of their meanness.

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Posted by: chfang on November 7, 2006 at 4:36 AM | PERMALINK

Do I understand correctly that anyone who can prove their legal identity and their Arizona residency is entitled to vote in Arizona, according to a perfectly constitutional law enacted by the citizens of Arizona?

Posted by: samuel stott on November 7, 2006 at 6:23 AM | PERMALINK

The formerly confederate states imposed a literacy test on voters. Dick Gregory recounted this tale:

A black man was handed a Chinese newspaper and was asked "Can you read this?" He looked it over and said, "Yes, I know what it says." They looked at him increduously and asked him to read out loud. "It says this is one nigger who isn't going to get to vote this year."

Forty years later, different tactics, same intention.

Posted by: bad Jim on November 7, 2006 at 6:41 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see what the big deal is. If there's any problem with the Photo ID requisite, it's that Photo ID isn't mandatory. While that might seem terribly restrictive, it actually ensures everybody is able to have a decent piece of ID. Same as mandatory voting: If voting is an obligation (and elections are held on weekends or holidays), it's much harder to prevent people from casting a vote (for example, by employers).

Posted by: Alejandro on November 7, 2006 at 7:24 AM | PERMALINK

craigie: Why don't they just pass the law they really want, and set a Democratic vote at 2/3 of a Republican one?

Priceless!

Posted by: shortstop on November 7, 2006 at 7:27 AM | PERMALINK

I'm an Arizona voter who experienced the ID requirement last September in the primary election. My driver's license address does not match my current residence but that didn't hold me up (in fact, I didn't know about that requirement until I read Kevin's post). I'm curious whether the poll worker let me vote because she forgot to check or because I am voting in a tony Scottsdale precint (whereas poll workers in more democratic areas may be more thoroughly trained to ensure full compliance with the technicalities). I'll know tomorrow - if I vote twice without my address being an issue.

Posted by: UofAZGrad on November 7, 2006 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK

Voter disenfranchisement sucks. And I wouldn't want Dems to benefit from it if they are responsible in any way for it. But, correct me if I'm wrong, my impression of ASU kids is that they're there to party, cheer on whoever's kicking ass, and party. Not necessarily Dems. But then, I've got a weird thing about people living in places like Arizona. I'm working on it.

Posted by: jf on November 7, 2006 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Wapiti: To vote under the wrong name you would

(a) go to the right polling place.
(b) identify yourself to the poll worker as someone you're not.
(b1) the person you're impersonating has already been to the polls and has signed the rolls. The poll worker challenges you to match signatures with the one they have on file and/or produce id at this point. Your goose is cooked.
(b2) you get there first and commit purjury by signing and voting as someone else. When the real person comes in, they are challenged, they provide a correct signature that matches the one on file, maybe an id, and people start getting interviewed about what you look like.

It isn't a useful crime to impersonate someone at the polls. You can't do it at your own polling station, and the risk/penalties are too high to do the crime for so little reward.

Doubt me? Try it tomorrow and let us know how it goes.

Great post, but I'd add that the most likely scenario in (b2) is that you're asked to sign the other person's name, your signatures don't match and you're busted on the spot.

Of course, Al, Steve White and our other resident idiots will maintain that these clever impersonators--so clever that there's no evidence that they exist--spend the years between elections engaged in full-time practice forging multiple voters' signatures. Meanwhile, wholesale voter fraud goes on completely unchallenged by Republicans. (Inauditable electronic voting? Documented abuse of mail-in ballots? What's that?)

Posted by: shortstop on November 7, 2006 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Boy is this going to be an ugly place if the Dems fall short today.

The rising problem of fraud, as in all the ACORN fake registration cards, exposure of which may end up defeating McCaskill today in Missouri, is really in absentee ballots. That is a bigger problem now in states like California and Oregon where the voter ID issue is harder to deal with.

Posted by: Mike K on November 7, 2006 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

I love the smell of frustrated neo-Nazi chickenhawks in the morning. It smells like victory!

Posted by: Phoenix Woman on November 7, 2006 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Never forget: Arizona is where Ol' Billy the Shiv Rehnquist got his start admininstering injustice, by harassing non-whites and other likely Democratic voters at polling places. Bull Connor didn't die, he just moved to the Sun Belt.

By the way: Minnesota allows same-day registration, and we're about to have record turnout for a midterm. Buh-bye, Smilin' Tim Pawlenty!

Posted by: Phoenix Woman on November 7, 2006 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Mike K, stick to your Frederick's of Hollywood voting site - Geez, you can buy your Bras or Bros and vote at the same time.

However, do not speak of Oregon, you twit - You know nothing about our great system.

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Posted by: LeeJack on November 7, 2006 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

arizona huh..

The dumbest states: California ranked 47th followed by Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona.

Morgan Quinto Press 10/18/06

Posted by: mr. irony on November 7, 2006 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, Shortstop - Have you perused any of the captured documents from the training camps in Afghanistan?

"6 AM - Morning prayers
7 AM to 11 AM - English Penmanship
11 AM to 1 PM -Lunch and midday prayers
1PM to 5 PM - Bomb making
5PM to 6PM - Supper and evening prayers
6PM to 9 PM - English Penmanship

As usual, you should listen more to that Doctor from Suburban Chicago, Steve W who is currently doing a head count of the many Islamos under his bed.

Posted by: stupid git on November 7, 2006 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

The dumbest states: California ranked 47th followed by Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona.

You think Del Webb's target audience was smart people?

Apologie to all the decent people of Arizona for that snark...my best friend lives in Phoenix and he reports that life as a liberal is quite lonely there.

Posted by: shortstop on November 7, 2006 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Git, heh. He has a reputation at U of C. It's not a good one.

Posted by: shortstop on November 7, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Illegal immigrant fear runs high in Arizona and has prompted several anti-immigrant propositions on today's ballot. Prop 200, which was largely fueled by that fear, is being challenged. And there is a proposition on the ballot that would pretty much do an end run around Prop 200, allowing all Arizonans to vote by mail.

Posted by: skywater on November 7, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop.....i just report...

fwiw...

Vermont was the smartest state with Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maine rounding out the top five.

Morgan Quinto Press 10/18/06

Posted by: mr. irony on November 7, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Photo ID is not required here in AZ. If you bring two pieces of ID with your current address you will be able to vote. Those ID includes your voter ID card, your sample ballot mailed from the County Recorders office or any other official mail from the County Recorder's office, utility bills, etc.

That being said, this was passed on a ballot proposal after a lot of Republican hype about illegals voting, something we have NEVER had a problem with. Those of us who voted against the proposal knew it was just another Republican attempt to interfere with anyone they thought might be voting for Dems. In fact, local Republican politicos were miffed at the Maricopa County Recorders office just a couple of weeks ago because after the proposal passed this county (the most populous) made a point of sending out TWO OFFICIAL PIECES OF MAIL TO EVERY VOTER on the roles, mail that can be used as ID. Some Republican jerk actually huffed something to the effect that 'it's like the Recorders Office was trying to thwart the purpose of the law.' And since the true purpose of the law was to try and disenfrancize Democrats, I guess that's true. It seems County Recorder Purcell (R) took her job more seriously than she did party loyalty.
Tsk. Tsk. She'll have to go.

Posted by: Gayla on November 7, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

My brother just moved to Arizona and has been disenfranchised for this election. He went to register, and no one told him about the ID requirements, so he registered without showing ID, sent the stuff in, and later got a letter saying that his registration wasn't valid, he would have to register. Of course, that was after the registration deadline. Not to mention, even if he had brought his ID, I don't know if he had updated in for Arizona since he hasn't been there long. In other states I have lived in you can just bring a utility bill or lease or whatever. This needed an ID with current address is ridiculous. Getting new IDs every time you move is expensive for a lot of people (OK, not my brother, he's a lawyer), and time consuming since you have to take off during work hours to sit in painfully long lines at the DMV. Anyway, I am furious about it. This is America and we shouldn't have to fight our way through beaucracy and red tape just to exercise our right to vote.

Posted by: J.B. on November 7, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Georgann Marks,

Thanks for the update - I'll have my troopers attend to that matter, forthwith.

Yours in ethnic cleansing,

General George Crook

Posted by: General George Crook on November 7, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

A bunch of liberal Dems are too lazy to register to vote. Cry me a river. There's nothing wrong with Arizona law, as responsible people can still register to vote.

I'd actually be in favor of having to show evidence of filing a fedral income tax return before registering to vote. Didn't pay taxes? Well, then no registration -- no pay, no say.

Posted by: Rock on November 7, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

The interesting thing about the Arizona law that isn't mentioned is that ID's are not required for early voting.

That clearly explains why the Republican candidate for Senate was doing so poorly in early voting.

Posted by: DR on November 7, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

For the primary election I used two pieces of advertising junk mail that had my name and address on them. They were both sent from banks. I have kept them and plan on using them this afternoon to vote. I will be curious to see if they are questioned as appropriate. I will have legal ID available if they are.

The whole point of requiring photo ID and proof of citizenship to register is to prevent undesirables from voting for Democrats. Anyone who may vote Democratic is considered an undesirable in Arizona.

Posted by: Hostile on November 7, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Georgann Marks is either a normal American bigot, who hates everyone not part of his/her ethnic group, or a big loser at the Native American casinos.

Regardless, fuck you Georgann. Go back to whatever country your ancestors illegally migrated from.

Posted by: Hostile on November 7, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

I'd actually be in favor of having to show evidence of filing a fedral income tax return before registering to vote.

I think you'd be surprised as to the extent that this world suppress the rich white guy vote. I'll go you one better: anyone who's incorporated their business in Bermuda to avoid paying taxes can't vote.

This would probably end up excluding the Bush "Rangers" and "Pioneers" en masse.

Posted by: trex on November 7, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

In some parts of the country, the elderly are the heart and soul of the Republican Party. Many of them buy the story of world wide terrorism, Saddam, and 9-11 without question and can't understand why people question their President.

Too bad they now need a recent photo ID to vote. Maybe this is where the Repubs got so many people to come out of the woodwork to vote for Bush and his people in 2004. Just send a bus (actually buses) to the nursing homes. Lots of good republicans there. They may be half dead, but they still can vote. Some won't vote Democrat "because of that "G**-D*** cripple in the White House" -- dementia sometimes robs you of the last 60 years of your life.

Now thanks to this law, they need a photo ID with an existing address -- probably their old driver's license doesn't have their nuring home address.

Better watch the poll workers who might be tempted to bend the law for good republicans inconvenienced by a brainless law.

Posted by: Ray Waldren on November 7, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

I just voted, in Indiana, at my small town Armory, which I can see from my house. The woman checking picture IDs checked mine, even though she knew me. The people working the election, most of whom I have known for 20/30/40 years, checked my name carefully in the books. Gotta love small towns and citizens who want to "do things right." Things were going smoothly; we voted on paper ballots, using a marker to complete an arrow pointing to the candidate's name. The voter then places the ballot in a machine and can note that the vote is tabulated. I asked for a paper receipt and was told by a poll worker that none are given. A long-time poll worker said this was the biggest crowd of voters he had ever seen. The 9th District Congressional election is HOT. Bush showed up last week; Laura has been in the District numerous times. Cheney has spoken and so has President Clinton. Such people do not usually visit the backwaters of Indiana.

Posted by: applecrisp on November 7, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

...Didn't pay taxes? Well, then no registration -- no pay, no say.

Posted by: Rock on November 7, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Grreaaat! So now I get to vote. No taxation without representtion, right?

Posted by: notthere on November 7, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Claim: A recent patient survey indicated that 70% of the women who gave birth at Parkland in the first three months of 2006 were illegal immigrants.

Status: True.

Posted by: Myron on November 7, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

The new law sucks, but it is also inconsistent. If you request a mail-in ballot there's no ID requirement. If you go in and vote early - no ID. I started to pull mine out, but the county election clerk said I didnt' need it. Jeez.

One of my co-workers went to vote today and she didn't have an updated AZ driver's license with a current address. She headed back home to look for two pieces of ID she could use. Luckily, the utility bill is in her name and not her husband's.

I think the ID law is ridiculous. As someone who has volunteered to drive the elderly to the polls I can tell you that not everyone has an AZ license. If you're not aware of the requirements you may not be prepared, which is what I think the Republicans are counting on. How many people will show up to vote and have to go home for ID and decide to blow it off? This disenfranchises the folks who aren't too aware of all the ins and outs of registration and voting.

As for registering voters I had the devil of a time doing it. Trying to register Northern Arizona University students was a problem. The out of state students who move here would need a BIRTH CERTIFICATE to register. Oh come on.

Anyway, I bet we'll have lots of stories of people turned away or who vote provisionally (have to prove your identity at the election office within 5 days)after today.

Posted by: Erin in Flagstaff on November 7, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

I understand why Democrats are opposed to this sort of requirement ... it violates the rights of one of their most important constiuencies, the Necro-American community.

Say NO to necrophobia!

Posted by: Ralph Phelan on November 7, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

"This disenfranchises the folks who aren't too aware of all the ins and outs of registration and voting."

Oh, yes, their other favorite consitituency. People who don't know much about politics.

Posted by: Ralph Phelan on November 7, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Since I live in Arizona and just went through DMV hell to get a driver's license renewed (I am over 65 and you have to renew every 5 years), let me tell you what it takes to change an address.
You can do it online (if you don't have access to the internet elsewhere, there are a couple of computers available in DMV offices to do this, if you can get in through the door past the lines, but there is no assistance available for working your way through the menu). BUT -- to get a new license with the new address on it, there is a 'small fee' (which I think is 10 bucks), AND according to the DMV web site, you have to have one of 4 credit cards to verify ID for online access. A credit card should not be a prerequisite to the exercise of the franchise, but on-line changes on your DL in Arizona makes it a prerequisite. Or -- you could go to a DMV office and pay in cash. I can assure you that in Pima County DMV offices are utterly exasperating. (1) There is often not enough parking (I circled one lot for 20 minutes before I could park). (2) Computers, cameras are often down (I encountered this problem in 2 of 4 offices on my recent odyssey). (3) Lines are very, very long at any time when a reasonable working person could go get a license -- for instance, only one of the 4 offices in Tucson (only 3 do over the counter DL's in a city of about 650,000) has Saturday hours. I am talking lines out the door of the building. Once you get to the head of a line (which might take half an hour) you get a number and you have another wait that can be very long, it is quite unpredictable. Basically, this is a half-day out of your life.
In summary, I absolutely agree with those who believe that the point of the Arizona law is to disenfranchise those most likely to vote Democratic -- Indians, working-class people of all races, students, the elderly, anyone who rents, anyone who for some reason doesn't drive. And obviously the Supreme Court thinks so too, or why would the court of Bush v. Gore have upheld this discriminatory legislation?

Posted by: JHill on November 7, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

And theres one more group of votes that wont be counted: absentee ballots challenged and discarded. Elections Assistance Agency data tell us a half million of these absentee votes will go down the drain.

I cannot understand why so many people choose to vote absentee.

Posted by: Hostile on November 7, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

"any voter whose address isn't current on their driver's license"

Not quite true. If you bring a current (90 days) utility bill that has your new address on it, you can vote. I brought my bank statement with me, since I moved recently and haven't updated my license.

That being said, this law sucks. Registered voters who haven't updated their driver's license can be denied the vote. The guy ahead of me in line had the same problem as me but didn't have an up-to-date bill as proof of address... so, home he went to go find one.

Posted by: Bolo on November 7, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

I am an arizona student who voted today, I go to school in Flagstaff, but return to Tucson every summer. My Drivers license has my parents address in Tucson on it. I live in a university dorm in Flagstaff and don't have any proof of address. I was allowed to vote on a provisional ballot, it wasn't much of a hassle but I do wonder if my vote will end up counting. I would imagine that most students up here face the same situation, Flagstaff is a small town and few students are from here.

Posted by: NAU on November 7, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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