November will mark the first general election in which Arizonans use a dual track voting system. The new method prevents Arizona from imposing citizenship requirements on voters using the federal form. But it does allow the state to mandate proof of citizenship for local elections. It comes from a voter approved initiative to crack down on fraudulent voting. But, as Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, the new system is proving difficult for some first time voters. Jason Kordosky is the campus vote organizer for the Arizona Students Association, today he’s at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff registering first time voters. “I think this is one of the most important elections so all these sort of state elections will have a huge impact on our educational system”, Kordosky said.
But, about half the students Kordosky has registered so far may not be voting in Arizona’s local elections, because they legally reside in other states and don’t have the required ID to vote here. Ashley Green is one of those students.
“Being an out of state student I receive scholarships and grants specifically designated for being an out of state resident, and if I file for in state residency in Arizona that would essentially disqualify me from out of state funding,” Green said.
Green is a junior at NAU with legal residency in her home state of Alabama. Because she doesn’t have an Arizona ID, she’d need copies of her passport or birth certificate to register as an Arizona voter. “It’s a super convoluted process and issue just to want to go to a poll and vote, that’s all I want to do,” Green said.