Harsh Voter Provisions in Arizona Proposition 200 Will Reduce Voting
Arizona’s Proposition 200, passed on November 2, 2004, will restrict political participation by imposing barriers to voter registration and in-person voting at the polls.
The law will create obstacles to registration and voting by people who lack a government photo identification, including senior citizens as well as low-income, disabled and minority voters. People who may have problems registering and voting include:
People with no driver’s license will lack the most common form of government identification. Unless a person has some other form of identity document, such as a passport, bank statement or government certificate, a non- driver will face significant barriers to registration and voting.
People who have Changed Address
People who have recently moved may not be able to show that the address on their driver’s license matches their address on the voter rolls. People whose photo ID address differs from their registered voter address will not be accepted for voting at the polling place.
Many senior citizens no longer drive cars and may have an expired driver’s license. Without a current driver’s license, a senior citizen may have to produce some other form of government identification (like a passport, which is expensive). Other documents, such as birth certificates or marriage certificates, are difficult to obtain for older people, especially those from out of state or those people from counties that have lost their older documents.
Older people who live with their adult children or other adults may not have property documents or car insurance/registration documents.
Many disabled citizens do not drive cars and will have the same problems producing photo identification as other non-drivers. In addition, disabled people who live with other adults may not have property documents or car insurance/registration documents. Those disabled voters who have another person handling their financial affairs may also lack property and bank documents in their name.
People Low-income people are more likely to rely on public transportation and to lack a driver’s license. Also, a person who does not own their own home or have a bank account is less likely to be able the show the documents required by Proposition 200. In addition, low-income people will have greater difficulty paying for replacement documents such as birth, marriage and naturalization certificates. Because Proposition 200 will largely prevent community-based voter registration (by requiring community registrars to make photocopies of citizenship documents for every new voter), it will force low-income people to take time from work during business hours and travel to a government building to show their identity documents before they can be registered.
Obstacles to registering and voting after Proposition 200
People who may have problems registering to vote are those who do not have proof of their citizenship, particularly those who are low-income and can’t afford to buy replacements of their birth certificates or naturalization papers. This includes people who:
1. Have no drivers license or
2. Whose AZ license was issued before October 1, 1996 and
3. Are born in the U.S. but have no copy of their birth certificate, because it was lost or destroyed and
4. Have no current U.S. Passport and
5. Have lost their naturalization documents, if they are naturalized citizens and
6. Do not have a Bureau of Indian Affairs card number, tribal treaty card number or tribal enrollment number.
People who may have difficulty voting in person at the polling
place after Proposition 200
People who may have problems voting in person at the polls are those who lack a photo identification or other supporting documents. This would be people who:
1. Have no driver’s license and
2. Have no government photo ID card and
3. Have no tribal enrollment ID card and
4. Do not own a car and
5. Do not have a bank statement and
5. Do not have property documents, like property tax statement or recorder’s certificate and
6. Do not have government-issued certificates, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate or military
discharge papers and
7. Have no Tribal Enrollment Card or Indian Census Card
If you think you might have problems registering or voting after Proposition 200, for more information:
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)