Native American voters face challenges in Arizona

Cronkite News/Arizona PBS,  May 15, 2018

The [voter registration] form says, in English and Spanish: “If no street address, describe residence location using mileage, cross streets, parcel #, subdivision name and lot, or landmarks. Do not use post office box or business address. Draw a map below if located in rural area.”

But [Arusha Gordon, voting rights counsel for the Native American Rights Fund] said that can cause problems if county officials then use a single address, like the closest government service center, for all the voters who used the draw-a-map method of giving an address. ...

Before they even get to a polling place, however, tribal members may face problems registering. Arizona law requires proof of citizenship for a first-time registrant.

That can be met by Native Americans who provide a tribal ID number, but Gordon said that number is not always available. In that case, it takes a copy of a birth certificate, passport or other specific form. But in remote areas, it can be hard to get to the office that keeps records like birth certificates – if there’s a birth certificate at all.

By Austen Bundy

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