How does this help solve the election integrity problem in Arizona?
This initiative tackles one major piece of the puzzle that has long been recognized as a critical election integrity measure: Voter ID for mail-in ballots. The initiative includes this reform which failed to pass the legislature in 2021. It also closes a loophole with current in person voter ID requirements which can only be addressed through a ballot initiative because the laws are voter protected and the legislature’s hands are constitutionally tied. There is still room for continued reforms – this initiative does not and will not conflict with those. Many of those reforms should be tackled legislatively. Election integrity must be approached from many different angles and ensuring Universal Voter ID requirements is a crucial component.
Why do this through a ballot initiative?
Universal Voter ID failed last session at the legislature. Unless the members who voted against it change their mind, an initiative would be the only way to enact Voter ID requirements on mail in ballots and is exactly what the initiative process is for: when lawmakers do not take action on an issue important to the people. Additionally, this initiative improves the existing in-person Voter ID requirements by removing the utility bill loophole. Since the existing law is already voter protected, making any changes requires a ballot initiative – that cannot be done by the legislature.
Don’t I already show my ID when voting in person?
but under current law there is a workaround to the photo ID requirement allowing for two documents that contain the voter’s name and address such as a utility bill or piece of mail. This initiative would remove the workaround to ensure every voter is showing photo ID and only using an additional document like a utility bill if the address on their photo ID is not updated and does not match their voter file.
Will this expose personal information?
Section 7 of the Act requires that the identification provided on mail-in ballots be concealed either with a privacy flap or an outer envelope. Additionally, this type of identification is frequently entrusted to mail. Driver’s licenses are sent by mail and most employees receive a W-2 from their employer by mail which typically includes the last four digits of their social security number.
Will this disenfranchise voters?
All of the forms of acceptable identification are utilized in the daily lives of Arizonans to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, obtain a driver’s license, board a commercial flight, donate blood, open a bank account, purchase a firearm, receive unemployment benefits, obtain auto insurance, purchase or rent a home, among many other transactions.
Additionally, the Act provides for a free nonoperating identification to lawfully registered voters who need it for voting. Of active voters on the Permanent Early Voter List (PEVL), 99.9% have this information on their registration file. The few who do not will have ample time to contact their Recorder’s office to complete their file. County Recorders can and should contact voters with incomplete files and help them add the necessary information in order to vote by mail.
Is this about relitigating 2020?
This is about future elections. Voter ID was good policy and a commonsense election integrity measure before 2020 and it will be after. A vote on this initiative and its passage would not change the outcome of 2020, it would only make future elections more secure and give voters more confidence in the system.