Voters Who Register Without Proving Citizenship To Get Separate Ballot On Election Day

October 08, 2013

Voters who register without proving their citizenship will get a separate ballot on Election Day, the Secretary of State's Office said Monday.

It is a response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year. The high court ruled in June that Arizona cannot force potential voters to show identification when they use a federal form to register. On the other hand, Arizona’s Proposition 200 requires people to show something like a driver’s license or a passport when signing up to vote using a state form.

Both forms are still valid, so on Monday Arizona’s attorney general sent an opinion to Secretary of State Ken Bennett that proposed a way around this conflict. Bennett said it means issuing two ballots for every federal election.

“The counties will work all that out, but essentially, if you’ve registered without having proving citizenship, you would get a ballot that has just those offices only, the president, the U.S. senator or the Congress positions," Bennett explained.

But to D.J. Quinlan, the executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party, the two-track system creates a “second-class voter” who cannot vote for state lawmakers, the governor or city council members.

“It seems to me you’re just adding on layers of bureaucracy,” Quinlan said.

The separate ballots would be issued to a few thousand people across the state, according to Secretary Bennett.

The next federal election is in 2014.

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