Photo: Arizona news
Activists described Tuesday as an abuse of power the idea being studied in Arizona of establishing a dual voter system, in which those who do not use the state registration form can only vote in federal elections.
“This will possibly lead to another lawsuit against the state of Arizona. Once a person has registered to vote, he or she is eligible to vote in any election. This proposal is against the law,” said Petra Falcon, director of Promise Arizona, an organization that registers new voters and promotes Latino participation at the polls.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne recommended Monday the introduction of a dual system for registering voters as a response to a federal court decision obliging the state to use the federal form to register voters.
A 2004 state law requires a person registering to vote in Arizona to provide an additional proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, something not required when registering with the federal form.
The universal form established by the federal government, and which is accepted by every state in the country, does not have that additional requirement because the person signs under oath that he or she is a citizen, and is therefore eligible to vote.
“We know that many politicians in Arizona are willing to abuse their power. It seems they don’t want to establish relations with the Latino community,” Falcon said.
If the system proposed by Horne is finally instituted, the measure can directly affect the 2014 state elections, in which Arizona residents will elect a new governor.