ACLU of Arizona Urges Voters to Report Election Day Problems
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Bilingual Fliers Inform Voters of Their Rights
PHOENIX — Saying Tuesday’s county and city elections across the state will likely cause confusion at the polls, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona today announced it is distributing bilingual fliers throughout the state informing voters about their rights on Election Day.
The flier – “Your Rights as an Arizona Voter” – contains information for voters about Proposition 200, which prohibits voters from casting a ballot without showing a photo ID at the polls. The flier, available in English and Spanish, also addresses other common concerns of voters.
“We are deeply troubled by the harmful consequences of Proposition 200, and its impact on eligible citizen voters, including seniors, Latinos, Native Americans, and low income voters, all of whom will be particularly hard hit by these burdensome ID requirements,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona. “Election officials should be doing everything they can to protect and ensure the right to vote, not suppress it.”
The ACLU of Arizona is concerned that the Proposition 200 identification requirements may disfranchise thousands of legitimate citizen voters, and is urging anyone who encounters problems at the polls to contact the ACLU on Election Day, Tuesday, March 14th.
The ACLU also will distribute its Election Day information fliers to 10 volunteer chapters across the state, through its network of cooperating attorneys, and to voters who contact the ACLU.
Concerns about the impact of Proposition 200 recently prompted the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to send a letter to Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer, noting that “Congress specifically considered whether states should retain authority to require that registrants provide proof of citizenship, but rejected the ideas as not necessary or consistent with the purpose of the National Voter Registration Act.”
The March 6, 2006 letter from EAC Director Thomas R. Wilkey also pointed out that Arizona election officials do not have the authority to regulate federal registration procedures. Wilkey sent the letter after Brewer’s office e-mailed federal elections officials requesting that the EAC apply Proposition 200 requirements in Arizona to the Federal Mail Voter Registration Form commonly used by overseas voters.
“People must not be deterred from voting by schemes that are designed to discourage their full participation in the democratic process,” Meetze added. “The best thing an individual can do to overcome these voting barriers is simple: Go to the polls and vote.”
The fliers are available online in English at www.aclu.org/votingrights/access/24532pub20060310.html and in Spanish at www.aclu.org/votingrights/access/24533pub20060310.html
A copy of the EAC letter is online at: www.aclu.org/votingrights/access/24535pub20060310.html
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