Lawmakers ask U.S. to void Prop. 200 terms
Jan. 19, 2005
By Howard Fischer

PHOENIX - House Democratic lawmakers opened a new front Tuesday in the effort to rescind changes in election laws approved by voters as part of Proposition 200.

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, the legislators said the provisions of the initiative disenfranchise minorities. They said Hispanics, American Indians Americans and blacks "are less likely to have the identification" required by Proposition 200 in order to vote.
Rep. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, a signer of the letter, said fewer minorities have photo IDs such as driver's licenses or passports than others.
In a separate letter, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff, said even the alternative voter identification allowed under the initiative - two items without pictures but with a name and address - may be out of reach for many Indians. She said many reservation residents lack power, water or other utilities, meaning they won't have bills with the sought information.
Lawmakers said the requirement to produce identification to vote is not the only problem.
They noted another provision says people cannot even register to vote without proving they are U.S. citizens.
The objections are separate from a lawsuit filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund to invalidate other sections of Proposition 200 which require proof of legal residency for certain "public benefits." A federal appeals court refused last week to bar enforcement of that law while the court challenge is pending.