Another round of Arizona elections will take place in September without voters at the polls showing any form of identification, despite last year’s overwhelming public approval of Proposition 200.
But Secretary of State Jan Brewer said Friday that she’s ready to end months of political infighting and require all counties to check for photo IDs or acceptable paper alternatives before handing out ballots at the polls.
Brewer unveiled her latest proposal Friday to carry out the photo ID provisions of Proposition 200. If state Attorney General Terry Goddard or Gov. Janet Napolitano don’t go along with her plan within the next two weeks, supporters of Proposition 200 said they will sue to force state compliance.
Unlike earlier proposals rejected by Goddard and Napolitano, Brewer’s plan now will allow voters who show IDs with old addresses to use provisional ballots, which would be counted if they are verified.
The change appears to answer Goddard’s concern that many Arizonans don’t get new driver’s licenses when they move within their county, and they could have been prevented from voting even though they are still legally registered to do so.
None of the changes would affect voting by mail, which Proposition 200 did not address. Still, requiring photo IDs at voting booths will be the state’s most dramatic change for running elections in more than a decade — since state lawmakers approved universal mail-in balloting.
Brewer said her new proposal complies with a handshake agreement she reached with Goddard in July on how to carry out this portion of Proposition 200.
"It’s not our responsibility to disenfranchise anybody," Brewer said. "It is our job to implement that people show IDs at the polls. That’s what the public wants."
But Brewer didn’t give Goddard her written plan until she presented it to the media Friday. Goddard said he must review the details before he signs off.
"My fundamental obligation is to make sure this is compliance with the law and the (Arizona) constitution," Goddard said.
But even if Goddard quickly agrees, there’s no guarantee the requirements will be in place for this year’s last set of local elections in November. The plan must be sent to the Justice Department, which will determine whether it complies with federal requirements.
The federal agency would have to act by Oct. 1 to provide counties enough time to train election workers, Goddard said.
Acceptable forms of photo ID:
• Valid Arizona driver’s license or identification card
• Another form of federal, state or local government-issued card
• Tribal identification
Acceptable IDs without photos (two would be required):
• Utility bills issued within 90 days of election
• Bank statement issued within 90 days of election
• Arizona motor vehicle registration
• Indian census card or tribal enrollment card
• Home property tax statement
• Vehicle insurance card
• County registration certificate