Governor vetoes bill requiring all voters to show identification
Arizona Star | April 2, 2005
By Howard Fischer
PHOENIX - Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed legislation Friday to bar some people who show up at the polls without identification from voting.
Napolitano said the measure, Senate Bill 1118, is illegal because it violates the federal Help America Vote Act. She said that "could result in properly registered Arizona citizens being denied the right to vote."
Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer said the Democratic governor is wrong.
She said nothing in federal law requires that anyone who shows up at a poll without identification be given a ballot.
Brewer also accused Napolitano of ignoring the wishes of the more than 1 million Arizonans who voted in November for Proposition 200. Among the provisions of that initiative is a requirement for identification before casting a ballot.
Napolitano, however, said Proposition 200 says only that identification is needed to get a "ballot." She said this new measure would have denied people the opportunity to vote even a "provisional ballot."
Most ballots are put into a ballot box when the voter is finished. Provisional ballots are given to those who show up at the polls and say they are registered but whose legal status to vote is uncertain.
The procedure has been to keep these ballots separate and return them to county election offices at the end of the evening. If the signature on the ballot matches the one on file, the vote is counted.
SB 1118 was actually created to broaden Proposition 200. In February, Attorney General Terry Goddard, a Democrat, ruled the voter ID provision of Proposition 200 was illegal and unenforceable.
SB 1118 said provisional ballots would be made available only to those whose names were on the official poll list but who did not have the types of identification mandated under Proposition 200. But those people would still be required to show some other proof of identity, such as copies of birth certificates.
Napolitano said no one should be denied the right to vote, even by provisional ballot, simply because he or she might have forgotten some ID. She said this law would harm many people, including seniors who don't have drivers' licenses.
Brewer's assertion that Napolitano is acting contrary to Proposition 200 is disputed by Kathy McKee, who helped craft the measure and organized the petition drive.
McKee said the initiative deliberately did not alter existing state laws, which permit anyone who shows up at the polls to get a provisional ballot.