At least 1,400 Arizonans would be allowed to vote only in federal elections under a rule announced this week by Attorney General Tom Horne, according to a survey of county election officials. The rule requires counties to maintain one list for voters who used state registration forms or provided proof of citizenship and one for those who used a federal form and didn’t provide evidence of citizenship. Horne issued the opinion at the request of Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who asked how to comply with both a state law requiring proof of citizenship to vote and a U.S. Supreme Court decision that said the state cannot require people who use the federal form to provide additional proof of citizenship. Horne’s office said Arizona has filed suit to change the federal form to allow the state to require proof of citizenship. In Maricopa County, Recorder Helen Purcell said around 900 people used the federal form but didn’t include additional proof of citizenship, such as a driver’s license number.
“I’m going to guess there’s a lot of people who don’t know what form they signed up on, unless they signed up online,” she said. “If they filled out a form, they may not even know, ‘Was that a state form or a federal form?’”
Purcell said that printing a separate set of federal-office-only ballots would cost the county around $250,000, which she said will come out of the county’s general fund.
In Pima County, Deputy County Recorder Chris Roads said 300-400 people would be prevented from voting in state or local elections. Roads said that his office was still working to determine the cost of printing ballots for this group.
Maricopa and Pima counties account for about 75 percent of Arizona’s registered voters.