Recorder, O'odham leader
fault ID to vote
Arizona Daily Star
Feb. 5, 2005
CAPITOL MEDIA SERVICES
PHOENIX - Pima County's recorder
and the chairwoman of the Tohono O'odham Nation
are objecting to the state's plans to require
identification to vote at polling places under
"The procedure as written will
have a disproportionate impact on the Native
American voters in Pima County, particularly
those that are members of the Tohono O'odham
Nation," Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez
wrote Friday to Secretary of State Jan Brewer.
Proposition 200, approved in
November by Arizona voters, requires proof of
citizenship to register to vote and certain
forms of identification to vote at polling
O'odham Chairwoman Vivian
Juan-Sanders said the state's proposed
procedures for enforcing Proposition 200 go even
further than voters did - by requiring that all
forms of ID used by voters at the polls must
contain an address.
"For the members of Tohono
O'odham Nation, other Indian communities and
other Arizonans residing in rural areas, the new
address requirement has stripped away the right
to vote," Juan-Sanders wrote Brewer. "The Tohono
O'odham Nation is very rural and our streets
lack physical addresses."
The alternative - voting early by
mail to avoid showing ID - isn't practical
because the reservation has just three post
offices, separated by more than 60 miles,
Brewer could not be reached for
comment late Friday.
In other Proposition 200
developments Friday, Attorney General Terry
Goddard said most Arizonans will be able to use
a driver's license to register to vote even
though it really isn't proof that someone is a
In a formal legal opinion,
Goddard pointed out that Proposition 200 says a
valid Arizona driver's license issued after Oct.
1, 1996, "shall be" acceptable evidence of
He acknowledged that this license
actually can be issued to anyone who is here
legally, regardless of citizenship. Goddard
said, though, that he cannot ignore the plain
language of the initiative.
The attorney general said he's
not concerned that large numbers of resident
aliens are going to show up at the polls.
He said the law requires anyone
registering to vote to attest that he or she is
a citizen. "The associated criminal penalties
for violating this requirement provide
additional protections against non-citizens
registering to vote in Arizona," Goddard said.
The Oct. 1, 1996, date was chosen
by those who wrote Proposition 200 because that
was the date the Motor Vehicle Division,
responding to a new state law, began requiring
people seeking a license to prove they were in
this country legally. Prior to that, the only
thing someone needed to show was proof that they
lived in the state.
Those licenses, though, make no
distinction on their face whether the holder is
a citizen or simply a resident alien with a
visa. Only the MVD keeps a record, separating
the latter category as Type F.
Goddard's opinion solves the
problem for most Arizonans - at least those with
a license or other MVD-issued ID card. Cydney
DeModica, spokeswoman for the Motor Vehicle
Division, said 90 percent of licenses and
identification cards were issued after Oct. 1,
As to the other 10 percent,
Proposition 200 requires some other proof of
citizenship. That could be a birth certificate,
passport or tribal identification card.
Also acceptable is a
naturalization document - or, at least the
number of the naturalization certificate. In
that latter case, though, the person cannot vote
until that number is verified by federal