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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Hold on Prop. 200 means more can register to vote

    A federal appellate court put a hold on Proposition 200 on Thursday, enabling previously denied UA students to register to vote in the 2006 election, ASUA officials said.

    Prop. 200, the Arizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, was passed in the 2004 election. It required people to present a birth certificate or passport to register to vote.

    “”When people would talk about Prop. 200, I thought it was just to keep illegal immigrants from voting, and that’s fine, but I never thought it would make it harder for legal citizens to vote too.””

    – Tony Pena,
    journalism senior

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals administered an injunction without comment barring enforcement of the proposition, according to The Associated Press.

    Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Erin Hertzog said the injunction comes as good news.

    ASUA’s UA Votes 2006 program visited 80 classes and 100 clubs to encourage students to register to vote. They also hosted activities like a candidate showcase, a block party and registrations on the UA Mall, Hertzog said.

    “”Roughly 60 percent of students could not register to vote because they didn’t have proper identification,”” Hertzog said. “”We lost a lot of potential voters – mostly out-of-state students. No one really carries a birth certificate or passport in college.””

    Tony Pena, a journalism senior who attended ASUA’s block party Friday night, said he didn’t realize the repercussions of Proposition 200.

    “”When people would talk about Prop. 200, I thought it was just to keep illegal immigrants from voting, and that’s fine, but I never thought it would make it harder for legal citizens to vote too,”” Pena said.

    Lianda Ludwig, co-founder of Audit AZ and a local activist, said this “”papers, please”” approach to voter registration gives allusions to Nazi-type discrimination.

    The proposition was also flawed because an out-of-state student from California could not use a California driver’s license as proof of citizenship. However, Arizona licenses were being accepted as identification even though citizenship is not required to obtain one, Ludwig said.

    “”This proposition requires that voters provide proof of property ownership, a driver’s license, utility bills or a bank card to prove citizenship,”” Ludwig said. “”But none of these documents actually prove citizenship. When you get your electric bill, they don’t ask if you’re a U.S. citizen.””

    Alexandra Tracy-Ramirez, a graduate student in law and women’s studies, said Proposition 200 targets Latinos, the elderly and the poor – those less likely to be able to provide identification.

    “”There are some who don’t have the time or funds to get identification,”” Ramirez said.

    After Proposition 200 was put on hold Thursday, ASUA tripled its voter registration rate from one to two students per hour to six students per hour, Hertzog said. ASUA registered more than 2,000 students this semester, breaking their previous record set in 2000, Hertzog said.

    “”All these people jumped at the chance because they knew it wouldn’t take three hours to get their information ready,”” Hertzog said. “”It was really inconvenient and a hassle, especially for the out-of-state population who are registered in other states and who want to vote in this state, which affects their education.””

    Hertzog said this year is unique because 80 percent of the people ASUA assisted were already registered to vote.

    “”There will be more voters this year,”” Hertzog said. “”We are making sure students become one of the main constituents of politicians so we become a first priority. It’s hard to make good changes when we’re not a main voting population.””

    ASUA will be providing a chauffeur service to take students to and from voter stations on Nov. 7.

    “”Student volunteers will meet at Old Main, and we’re using the Safe-Ride cars to take people to voter stations,”” Hertzog said. “”The voter shuttle will start at 8 a.m. and go until 5 p.m.””

    The deadline to register to vote is tonight at midnight.

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