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Arizona County Failed To Send 140,000 Voter ID Cards Ahead Of Special Election

Mrs. Gemstone/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

140,000 residents of Maricopa County did not receive voter ID cards for voting in the upcoming special election.

Residents in Maricopa County, Arizona are gearing up for a special election to replace former Republican Rep. Trent Franks, but 140,000 of them never received their voter ID cards in the mail.

According to county recorder Adrian Fontes, those unsent voter ID cards are simply a “little hiccup in printing.

According to the Arizona Republic, Maricopa County officials have not sent all voters the cards they can use to cast a ballot under Arizona’s voter ID law because of an issue with the company used to print the materials. The paper reports that just 60,000 ID cards have been mailed to people who recently registered or changed their registration, while about 140,000 have not been sent. …

“It’s not that big of an impact on voters because we have redundancies in our system,” said Fontes, a Democrat who took office in 2016 after he campaigned on a promise to fight voter suppression and expand the right to vote in a county notorious for voting issues. “Every voter already got either a ballot in the mail or they got a sample ballot in the mail.”

But some voters are concerned that not everyone is aware of the ID rules and may believe they need their state-issued voter ID card to cast a ballot.

“It’s another black eye for this Recorder’s Office,” Mesa, Arizona voter Larry Smith, who hasn’t received a new card even though he updated his registration in January, told The Arizona Republic. “You’ve got people registering to vote, some of them for the first time in their lives. It’s the duty of the Recorder to send them a voter ID card.”

Maricopa County made headlines after the 2016 election due to extraordinarily long wait times at polling places:

During the presidential primary in March 2016, some Maricopa County voters waited in line for up to five hours to cast a ballot. The chaos led to an investigation by the Department of Justice and numerous lawsuits, including one filed by the Democratic National Committee.

Before the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, Arizona was required to pre-clear any changes to its voting law with the DOJ.

The Arizona Republic provided the following information for voters who did not receive a voter ID card prior to election day:

  1. Verify that you are registered to vote by going to the Maricopa County Recorder's Voter Registration page or calling 602-506-1511.
  1. When you go to the polls, bring the following forms of ID:
  • One ID that has your photo, name and current address, such as an Arizona driver's license, non-operating identification card or tribal identification.
  • Or two documents that have your name and current address, such as a recent utility, phone or cable bill; a recent bank or credit union statement; vehicle registration; Indian census card; property tax statement; Recorder’s certificate; or mailing to the voter marked “official election material.” Your voter ID also counts in this category.
  • Or, if your photo ID does not have your current address, you can combine it with one item above (such as a utility bill) that has your current address. You can also combine a passport or military ID combined with one item above (such as a utility bill) that has your current address.

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