Voting issues in Arizona

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Why are things so screwed up for voters in Arizona? Well, guys like this certainly aren’t helping the situation.

In April of 2005, Hans von Spakovsky, then a senior lawyer in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, almost singlehandedly disenfranchised thousands of voters. Without consulting career voting rights attorneys, Spakovsky wrote a letter that incorrectly advised Arizona’s secretary of state that the state should prevent voters from receiving a provisional ballot if they did not have proper ID.

When von Spakovsky — whose nomination as commissioner on the Federal Elections Commission is still pending — testified before the Senate Rules Committee last month, he claimed that he’d consulted with lawyers in the voting rights section before drafting the letter. “This was not me acting by myself, “he testified. “You know, I would have been consulting with the other attorneys there [in the voting section] to do it.”

But that wasn’t true…


I’ve seen this in action. I personally had to present my vehicle registration in addition to my driver’s license and voter ID card to order to vote. And why did I have to walk back out to my car and get my registration?

Because Hans von Spakovsky is a fucking liar, that’s why.

Thanks, Hans.

I originally wrote about this back in September of 2006. That post is below:

Speaking of voting, I got one for ya. Right here in Arizona we just ourselves a little voting party with the latest and greatest hurdles placed right between potential voters and the polls. This was a primary, and a lot of folks didn’t bother with it. Same deal all across the country. But me and the misses did. And it was a bunch of shit.

There was an article about Arizona’s new "stricter" voting laws in the NY Times on Tuesday. You can read it over here. (And that link will work thanks to the ny times link generator.)

So what’s the skinny? From the Times article:

  Arizona’s new rules were passed as part of Proposition 200, a referendum that denies certain state and local benefits to illegal immigrants. It got 56 percent of the vote two years ago, after Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, vetoed a Republican-backed measure passed by the Legislature.

Rooted in the state’s debates over illegal immigration, the measure is the broadest in the country, requiring a driver’s license, a state photo ID or two nonphotographic forms of identification at the polls.

So far so good, right? Read on.

This was a new polling station for us, in the basement of a local church. We walked in, handed over our drivers licenses, and then were told we needed another form of ID.

Why? Well, the street address on both our licenses has changed. We moved across town to this new neighborhood (and, hence, the new polling station) a year and a half ago.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, Arizona might have the longest running drivers licenses in the country. They are good forever. My license was issued in 2002 and does not expire till the year 2035. It almost goes without saying that my address will change a few times in thirty two years. Not to mention my photo won’t look a damn thing like me. And if you’re photo looked like mine, you’d be thankful about that.

I digress; the problem is this: In Arizona you are required to file a change of address with the Department of Motor Vehicles when you move. There is no requirement that you have to replace your license. There is no requirement that your license has to have your current address on it, only that it is on file with the DMV. You can even do it over the telephone, or online at the
website. Simple, quick, no sweat. No trip down to the DMV is necessary. Update your new address and you’re done.

I phoned both the Police Department and Department of Motor Vehicles today and both assured me my current drivers license is still perfectly ok. It’s legal identification in the great state of Arizona right through to 2035.

In fact, it is the preferred method of identification right through till 2035.

But not for voting. For that I need a secondary form of identification. And, less you think something like a passport would come in handy, nope, that is worth a sum total of dick. What did I use to back up my license? My automobile registration.

Yeah. You heard me. My drivers license (remember, this still legal ID under AZ law) and voter registration card were of little or no use. I needed something with some teeth. What does the state of Arizona want to see from it’s citizenry when lining up to vote? Your car registration.

Because actually bothering to, say, register your car somehow shows you’re on the up and up I suppose.

I was told at the polling station that if I didn’t have my car registration with me, things such as my water bill would work next time.

Are you fucking kidding me? My perfectly legal state issued drivers license is insufficient, but bring a utility bill with me and I’m cool?

Not to mention, if a few people are living together, married or otherwise, their is a good chance not all of their names are going to appear on something like a utility bill. And to the best of my knowledge, one does not have to prove US Citizenship when signing up to get the water turned on at a new apartment. Hence, it proves absolutely nothing.

This is complete bullshit.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

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