State lawmakers are free to provide special spots on voter registration forms to Democrats and Republicans that are not offered to other political parties, a federal judge has ruled. Judge Cindy Jorgenson acknowledged that the 2011 law does mean that those who want to register as Libertarians — or, for that matter, any minor party — have an additional hurdle. That’s because the registration forms have three spaces: Republican, Democrat and “other.” And that last option requires an individual to write out the name of the desired party. But Jorgenson rejected claims by an attorney for the Libertarian Party that the law amounts to illegal and unacceptable discrimination. She said the state has a legitimate interest in keeping the registration form simple.
Jorgenson also pointed out the law does not mention any specific party but instead requires that the two parties with the most registered voters be listed. The judge said that means, at least theoretically, that the Libertarians could qualify.
The provision was made part of a larger proposal on changes to state election laws pushed during the session by the Arizona Republican Party.
Until 2011, those registering to vote were given a blank line to insert their preferred party choice. Former state Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, who sponsored the legislation, said at the time there was a good reason for it: People were leaving.
What that meant, Antenori said, is they were registered as independent, unaffiliated with any party at all. But he said some people probably really wanted to list themselves with a party but just forgot.
He said there was insufficient space on the form to list all four recognized parties, along with the option to remain independent. So the decision was made to list just the two parties with the largest registration.
Full Article: No special spot on voter registration form for Libertarians.