The Phoenix New Times has done a great job stirring up Democrat angst without providing any context to a new bill being proposed by Representative Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa). House Bill 2043 seeks to strengthen election integrity by removing documents that may easily be fabricated or forged.
Townsend, the chair of the elections committee, is responsible for insuring all legislation surrounding elections meets local, state, and federal requirements in addition to maintaining the integrity of elections throughout the legislative process. Townsend said, “all of us should be concerned.”
Republican strategist Constantin Querard said “This is common sense legislation that seeks to encourage integrity in the voting process. Everyone says they want integrity in the process, but there are still people who try to game the system and they will certainly oppose this bill”.
According to Townsend, there are an estimated 14.6 thousand federal ballot voters based on the numbers she drew from the Secretary of State and the various county recorders.
While this number would not have affected any of the federal only races in the 2018 cycle, it may have affected the outcome of the 2014 Congressional District 2 race which was determined by 161 votes.
In a 3 December article Steven Hsieh indicated that student IDs may soon be permitted at the polls if Governor Ducey approves the new election procedures manual transmitted by Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on 1 October. Buried in a footnote at the bottom of page 180 of the election procedures manual is the only reference to utilizing identification from a public college or university or other public educational institution.
For these identifications to be considered valid for the purposes of voting, they would require a photograph, name, and address per ARS § 16-579 (A)(1)(a). However, this is not the case when it comes to registering to vote.
Acceptable documents to register to vote in Arizona include:
- Arizona issued driver’s license or non-driver identification card so long as it does not return an F-code indicating not eligible to vote.
- Out of State issued driver’s license or identification card (yet does not have to be electronically verified)
- Birth Certificate
- S. Passport
- Citizenship and Immigration documents
- Tribal identification and documents
School Identifications are not an acceptable form to register to vote in Arizona and HB2043 seeks to prevent it from becoming an acceptable form of identification for receiving a ballot at the polls.
Registering to vote is not completed at the polls and must be completed no less than 29 days before an election. This is to prevent potential fraudulent issues witnessed in other states. However, it does not prevent a person from becoming a federal only voter.
An issue that is not being discussed is the disclosure of addresses by students not legally present in Arizona nor the US and attending schools as permitted by the 1982 Supreme Court decision of Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982)
Hsieh went on to quote State Representative Athena Salman (D-Tempe) stating Townsend’s bill is “an attack on young people” and “I can firmly say this bill will get no democratic support”.
It’s a common misconception perpetuated by democrats that identification is difficult to obtain as witnessed in both of these YouTube videos: