Sunday, March 02, 2008

Arizona Independents Win Ballot Reform

by Robert B. Winn
March 1, 2008

The Secretary of State just came out with a new version of the Arizona voter registration form that has the following change. Instead of just a space designated Specify Party Preference, there is now a space designated Specify Party Preference, with a little check box at the bottom labeled None.

I do not know for certain exactly what did the trick, but I wrote the Secretary a letter in January. I sent a copy of Republican State Committee member Bill Bridwell's original comments about how the Republican Party had stopped independent voter registration in Arizona by getting legislation passed that removed the check box marked No Party Preference from the voter registration form. So I suggested to the Secretary of State that she check voter registration statistics for Democratic Party voter registration since 2005 and to see if she could tell where the people who had been registering independent had gone. Then I told her that one of the bits of information we had obtained from an Assistant Attorney General by registering a recall petition to recall the Attorney General was that the Attorney General had said that he had nothing to do with voter registration and that the Secretary of State was empowered by state law to make out the voter registration form any way she decided to do it as long as it complied with state and federal laws.

Evidently the Secretary of State looked up some laws and decided that now that the Christmas season was over, her party did not need to be giving expensive presents to the other party.

In any event, we are back on the voter registration form, thanks to the support from the grassroots.

We are going to continue to tell the Secretary of State that we liked the original voter registration form better, the one that had a check box marked No Party Preference, but this latest one is definitely an improvement.

NOTE: Last year, Robert B. Winn filed an initiative with the Arizona Sec. of State Jan Brewer protesting a change in the voter registration form removing the check box marked No Party Preference, leaving only a space marked Specify Party Preference. The initiative required 373,581 signatures to make the ballot.

1 comment:

Robert B. Winn said...

The only petition I registered was a petition to recall the Attorney General of Arizona. I did not expect to get enough signatures because 373,581 were required in 120 days. A recall petition was circulated to recall Governor Evan Mecham which was successful in 1987, but that one had a lot of support and financing from outside the state. I just did it to get a reaction from the Attorney General's office and the news media.